By Anthony Dean-Harris | Published August 2021
Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad continue their Jazz is Dead project — collaborating with jazz legends to make new material with the same instruments those legends used to make their classic albums — with its usual charming pace in its seventh installment alongside pianist João Donato. Like the other albums that preceded this, Younge and Muhammad work with their esteemed collaborator with reverence, but also exuding the confidence as artists themselves to make music as equals, to make a vibe this bold.
There is rarely a moment where this album isn’t overwhelmingly pleasant, wrapping the listener in sound that captures the purity of the original moment as well invigorating the present one. Their tack on “Aquarius” is so perfectly in the pocket, it could set up shop there. “Sua Beleza e Beleza” keeps escalating and plateauing with such brilliance, it ends leaving the listener wanting so much more but maybe the dance floor just can’t take it, Greg Paul’s drums providing a boom-bap with panache.
This had to be the easiest-going session, so much so that João Donato’s composition “Adrian, Ali & Gregory” had to be encapsulated in a chill this definitive. This mood had to be conveyed, had to be recreated as Donato pictured it and shared for the masses. The same could be said for the rest of this album, each song just as vibrant as the last, a true album best heard uninterrupted like the legendary scions that came before.
João Donato JID 007: Nao Negue Seu Coração; Aquarius (Bring Her Back Home To Me); Desejo de Amor; Forever More; Sua Beleza e Beleza; Liaisons; Adrian, Ali & Gregory; Vermelho Quente; Conexão. (26:50)
Personnel: Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Hammond B-3, electric bass, synthesizer, electric guitar, flutes, alto and sopranino saxophones, percussion; João Donato, Fender Rhodes, piano; Loren Oden, vocals; Greg Paul, drums.
Ordering Info: joaodonato.bandcamp.com