This music is collected from a stage performance at the Triple Door in Seattle, Washington in 2015, held by the distinguished Brasilian composer and musician Jovino Santos Neto and his quintet in celebration of the birthday of the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim. Mr Santos Neto is, in some circles, best known as the long time music director of that other Brasilian icon, Hermeto Pascoal. But here Mr Santos Neto revels not so much in the spirited angularity of his Hermeto Pascoal days, but in the poetry of emotion of these Jobim compositions, both familiar and rarer gems, which he has expertly re-imagined in an inimitable and spirited manner; often played at slightly altered tempi, but capturing nevertheless, the breathtaking sweep of Mr Jobim’s vision and artistry that has made him a legendary figure in the world of music.
Mr Jobim in his middle and later period was known to favour the use of multiple reeds and horns to deploy diaphanous layers of tone textures that fluttered around and across the subtle percussive elements in his music. Thus he created the unique big band sound world that endeared himself to legions of Americans who revered him in a manner not unlike that which was reserved for men like Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Mr Santos Neto, ever cognizant of that fact has endeavoured to preserve that aura but in this music he re-creates the world of Mr Jobim by finger painting from a tonal and textural palette redolent of the radiance of the vibraphone and bandoneon of Ben Thomas, both of which are used as a perfect foil to his (Mr Santos Neto’s) piano and the breathtaking wizardry that Romero Lubambo displays on his masterfully-played guitar.
The repertoire features beautifully crafted arrangements of mesmeric variety and sensuousness. This is delivered by Maucha Adnet a long-time vocalist in Mr Jobim’s famous (later) ensemble, Banda Nova. The music’s lyrics are felt in every lovingly caressed phrase by Miss Adnet’s vocalastics from the bittersweet “A Felicidade” where she seductively bends Mr Jobim’s notes, to the stark “Retrato em Branco e Preto” in which she sculpts the long, sustained inventions of the composer’s achingly beautiful lines. Through it all she plays marvellouosly off the pianism of Mr Santos Neto who shapes the music with a kind of languid ease, each melodic variation following the other, quite inexorably, his sumptuous sound brilliantly caught in this live recording.
Even in these often spirited renderings there is an unhurried quality to his approach that matches that of Mr Jobim’s romantic longings, a lived-in character to his phrase making that is engaging and is characterised by the well-honed values of experience that was not only held in high regard by Hermeto Pascoal but every Brasilian musician and cognoscenti who continue to follow Mr Santos Neto, no matter where he lives or performs. The recording also ever so appropriately remembers the late Richard Zirinsky Jr., founder of Adventure Music, and who, during his short life, filled a great void for Brasilian music, much of which has always been difficult to access for its legion of fans who live outside the South American nation.
Track list – 1: Surfboard; 2: A Felicidade; 3: Águas de Março; 4: Chovendo Na Roseira; 5: Por Causa de Você; 6: Retrato em Branco e Preto; 7: Samba de Uma Nota Só; 8: Wave; 9: As Praias Desertas; 10: Garota de Ipanema
Personnel – Jovino Santos Neto: piano, melodica (8); Ben Thomas: vibraphone and bandoneon (9); Chuck Deardorf: contrabass and electric bass; Mark Ivester: drums; Jeff Busch: percussion. With special guests – Maucha Adnet: vocals; Romero Lubambo: acoustic guitar
Released – 2018
Label – Adventure Music (1117 – 2)
Runtime – 1:00:09