Multi Latin Grammy® and Grammy® nominee Antonio Adolfo pays tribute to the birthplace of Brazilian Jazz on new album, Samba Jazz Alley.
4-1/2 Stars! – DownBeat, October 2019
Samba Jazz Alley refers to an obscure dead-end alley in the heart of Rio’s storied Copacabana neighborhood that served as a breeding ground for the city’s up-and-coming instrumentalists and singers during the heyday of bossa nova. The alley was termed Beco das Garrafas (Bottles Alley) because residents of neighboring apartments would shower the tiny space with beer bottles to protest the early morning racket produced by Bohemian revelers and impromptu jam sessions. Bottles Bar, the alleyway’s main venue, is reputed to have showcased over 100 of Brazil’s most noted musicians and vocalists of the day.
On Samba Jazz Alley, Adolfo has the luxury of performing with a core ensemble that features the talents of some of the best Brazilian jazz musicians of their generation. The three-horn frontline of trumpeter Jessé Sadoc, woodwind artist Marcelo Martins and trombonist Rafael Rocha provides a muscular ensemble sound that’s perfect for this hard-hitting genre. Joining Adolfo in the rhythm section is an equally distinguished crew, including guitarist Lula Galvão, bassist Jorge Helder, drummer Rafael Barata, and percussionist Dada Costa.
The session’s nine tracks capture the vivacious character of Samba Jazz via Adolfo’s ingenious arrangements of songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim (“Corcovado” and “Passarim”), Johnny Alf (“Céu E Mar”), Edu Lobo (“Casa Forte”), Baden Powell (“Só Por Amor”), João Donato (“The Frog”), and two themes by the leader (“Obrigado” and “Hello, Herbie,” a tribute to Herbie Hancock). A particularly mesmerizing take is the gorgeous bossa ballad “Tristeza De Nos Dois” (The Sadness of the Two of Us), featuring one of the song’s three co-composers, the legendary harmonica player Maurício Einhorn, in the company of Gabriel Grossi, Brazil’s current harmonica sensation.
Samba Jazz Alley is another triumph for Antonio Adolfo and a landmark recording in the still evolving Samba Jazz movement.
Antonio Adolfo (piano), Lula Galvao (guitars), Jorge Helder (bass), Rafael Barata (drums and percussion), Dada Costa (percussion), Jesse Sadoc (trumpet and flugelhorn), Marcelo Martins (soprano, tenor saxes and flute), Rafael Rocha (trombone) plus guests.
Arranged and produced by Antonio Adolfo.
AAM Music 0713
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