Friday, September 18, 2020
Antonio Adolfo, Carol Saboya - Here and There

Antonio Adolfo & Carol Saboya – Lá e Cá

Although Antonio Adolfo makes a point to explain his singular style as an amalgam of a very personal style with a distinct infusion of Brazilian phrasing, this may not be necessary at all. Adolfo’s sweeping, symphonic pianistic style and the immaculate sense of swagger is highly recognizable. His virtuoso piano playing echoes with the offbeat of the samba, the irreverent rattle of maracatu and flights of fanciful capoeira. These he incorporates into his often [...]

Tom Lellis & the Metropole Orch. – Skylark (Adventure Music 2009)

On Skylark, Tom Lellis celebrates the grand age of singers and song. This was probably not his intention at all, but fortunately, it also turned out that way. Lellis is a fine singer, fashioned from quite the classic mould of singers – like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Barry Manilow. He is a narrative singer and as some of the best storytellers go, he has a wonderful intonation [...]

André Mehmari & Gabriele Mirabassi – Miramari (Tratore – 2009)

Miramari is a musical whirlpool that bubbles with rhythmic ripples and swirls in a manner, at that describes some gentle disturbance that gathers in intensity at times. It is in this mysterious, liquified realm that pianist, André Mehmari and clarinetist, Gabriel Mirabassi concoct their sublime music mixing disparate metaphors, idiomatic phrases and images [...]

Jovino Santos Neto – Veja o Som/See the Sound (Adventure Music)

There comes a time in the life of a pianist, when the lure of a solo project is strong and he or she inevitably gives in. Having thus satisfied the yearning the musician is struck by an even more daunting task: the thought of a duo program, made even more alluring when there is an opportunity to duet with more than one musician and instrumentalist. Such an extravagance is rarely passed up so it is no surprise to find the wonderful world of pianist Jovino [...]

Antonio Adolfo: Finas Misturas

The French, as usual, got it right when they first used the word “gastronomie” to define both, the fine art of cookery from, say...

Ricardo Silveira – Storyteller

Ricardo Silveira is one of the finest guitarists in any dialect, be it his own Brazilian ones, or any other. He is much admired...

Carlos Barbosa-Lima – Merengue (Zoho Music – 2009)

There is distinct nobility surrounding the virtuosity of the guitarist, Carlos Barbosa-Lima. His South American sojourn, Merengue presents sweeping vistas and myriad emotions described by such technical superiority as only a few musicians have achieved. Unfortunately Barbosa-Lima’s reputation has not kept pace with his magnificent musicianship [...]

Tania Maria – Tempo

Tania Maria’s voice on Tempo, as it is on any of her records, is as distinctive as Elis’ or that of Gal Costa’s, or...

Antonio Valdetaro & Group – Letícia (Independent, Brasil 2009)

What stands out immediately about this record Letícia is the ebullient mood that is struck with the first few notes of “Segura e Sai.” From then on the music gets busier but retains its sense of “alegria.” A warning, however: it pays not to me misled by the nature of the tracks that flow one after the other. Valdetaro and his group do a fine job of masking the true complexity of the songs [...]

Ricardo Silveira – Até Amanhã (Adventure Music – 2010)

The music of guitarist Ricardo Silveira flows—especially on Até Amanhã/'Til Tomorrow--flows like an interminable river into the proverbial ocean of sound where a world of music mixes and mingles. Yet the idea that he is only marginally Brazilian is anathema. Silveira’s music ripples and gushes with a forceful swagger recalling, at times, the immensity force Rio Negro. That is when his phrases and lines bubble like with liquefying, steamy splendour [...]

Adriana Miki – Mulata de Arroz

The pristine nature of Adriana Miki’s voice puts it easily within the realm of reality that Ms. Miki would be one of the heraldic...

Ithamara Koorax & Juarez Moreira – Bim Bom (Motema Music 2009)

João Gilberto did not just epitomize bossa nova, "The New Thing" that he virtually invented, but he also brought his new laconic vocalastic style to Brasilian music. So deeply passionate and idiosyncratic was his annunciation and intonation that he could wail and groan with equal lyricism. Pitch did not seem to matter as the mood and passion of the emotion often took [...]

Duduka da Fonseca Trio Plays Toninho Horta (Zoho Music – 2011)

One of the main reasons why Brazilian music has been preserved and, more importantly, kept alive through the generations has been the readiness of newer generations of musicians to create repertory albums in homage to that country’s master musicians. Over the years there have been a slew of beautiful tributes to classical masters such as Heitor Villa Lobos, from João Carlos Assis Brasil’s legendary album A Floresta do Amazonas [...]

Patty Ascher – Bossa, Jazz ‘n’ Samba (Zoho Music – 2011)

Patty Ascher’s exquisitely floating soprano literally takes flight on her ever so memorable English album, Bossa, Jazz ‘n’ Samba, a collection of mostly original...

Marcus Tardelli – Unha & Carne (Biscoito Fino – 2009)

Even if Guinga never pronounced that Marcus Tardelli is "the greatest acoustic guitar player that Brazil has produced in history," the musical evidence on this record, Unha e Carne (Fingernail and Flesh for those interested), would certainly put him on a pedestal right next to Egberto Gismonti and the Assad Brothers. In fact, based on technique, expression, intonation and [...]

André Mehmari – Canteiro – Canções de Andre Mehmari

André Mehmari is one of those musicians with a prodigious talent, who flashes across the stratosphere one in a lifetime. Not only is he...

Mario Adnet & Phillippe Baden Powell – AfroSambaJazz

Truth is told: Had the great Billy Strayhorn been even mildly interested in courting recognition for his contribution to Duke Ellington's music, he would have occupied a much more rarified place in the pantheon of composers and arrangers - and even pianists - in the modern history of music. His reticence, even diffidence, was all encompasing. Mario Adnet could very possibly be [...]

Marcos Amorim Trio – Portraits (Adventure Music – 2010)

The music of guitarist Marcos Amorim penetrates the air so softly as he bends and folds notes gently creating a sort of glimmering light that wraps each note and phrase with a kind of warm glow that flickers and jumps where the accents of the music fall. Amorim is unique in that his music is a gilt-edged melding of Carioca rhythms and an almost vocal version of the ebb-tide of warm Atlantic waters that flavour the special voicings of Rio’s best singers [...]

Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg

It is no longer the necessity to use the term Third Stream that Gunther Schuller “invented” to describe the music created by the Modern Jazz Quartet in the 50’s, which was a confluence of the European Classical tradition streaming with cadenzas, infused with swaggering swing and syncopations of jazz idioms to describe much contemporary 21st century music, which does the same. Labels of any sort would diminish the excellence of the music played by Mike [...]

Benjamim Taubkin – Trio + 1 (Adventure Music 2009)

In music – even in a zone of sublime comfort – a small, unexpected ripple can distrub the ebb and flow of the wave, or groove thereby upsetting the complete sense and flow of the ocean of sound. This happens all the time, and can even stop and start a song in the middle of the first bar. That magical pulse must be felt even before the song begins. If it does not snap in the air [...]