Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Samba Jazz from Antonio Adolfo

For me at least, samba jazz as played by a very good piano trio (plus important additions, in today's case) can lift the mood and bring an irresistible groove into your life. That's so with La e Ca (Here and There) (AAM 0701) by Brazilian pianist, songwriter, arranger Antonio Adolfo. The basic piano trio is joined by Carol Saboya on about half the cuts, a vocalist that starts with the delicately pensive stylings of an Astrud Gilberto and brings in some phrasial finesse and jazz punch. There's also nice guitar work from Leo Amuedo, the occasional trombone of Sergio Trombone, in addition to the core members Rafael Barata on drums and Jorge Helder on double bass.

Antonio Adolfo plays a very engagingly subtle jazz samba piano style and the sophisticated samba rhythms are quite adeptly handled by the rhythm team. There are three Adolfo originals on this set and I wish there were more. They are very good. Then there are some Jobim chestnuts and jazz-songbook standards like "All the Things You Are," "Time After Time" and such. They are all given a bossa-samba treatment.

It's some strong music and very entertaining at that. The arrangements sparkle, Adolfo's piano is perfectly ravishing and Carol Saboya can SING. Now if they'd do an all-originals set, I'd be quite thrilled. As it is I am happy.

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