01 – Floresta Azul (Blue Forest), by Antonio Adolfo
02 – Balada (Ballad), by Antonio Adolfo
03 – Giant Steps, by John Coltrane
04 – Con Alma, by Dizzy Gillespie
05 – Misturando (Mixing), by Antonio Adolfo
06 – Memories of Tomorrow, by Keith Jarrett
07 – Naima, by John Coltrane
08 – Tres Meninos (Three Little Boys), by Antonio Adolfo
09 – Crystal Silence, by Chick Corea and Neville Potter
10 – Time Remembered, by Bill Evans
Finas Misturas (fine mixtures)
Produced and Arranged by Antonio Adolfo
Antonio Adolfo (piano)
Leo Amuedo (electric guitar)
Claudio Spiewak (acoustic guitar)
Marcelo Martins (tenor sax and flute)
Jorge Helder (double bass)
Rafael Barata (drums and percussion)
Production and musical arrangements ANTONIO ADOLFO. recording engineer ROGER FRERET (ZAGA MUSIC, Rio, Brazil), mixing engineer CLAUDIO SPIEWAK (C L Audio, Florida, US), mastering RON MCMASTER, (CAPITOL MASTERING, California, US), cover design (APROAR) JULIA LIBERATI and ISABEL DE NONNO, photo PAUL CONSTANTINIDES, illustration BRUNO LIBERATI, Copyright 2013 by Antonio Adolfo Music
Special thanks: Felipe Tichauer
Antonio Adolfo Talks About the CD
For a while I’ve been thinking of recording an album combining the work of my Jazz Masters with my own music. Naturally, since there are so many masters that wouldn’t fit into one album, I decided to include just a few.
I put together a group of five super talented musicians to join me in this new project.
The recording took place in one week during the peak of Rio de Janeiro’s summer in December of 2012. In this instrumental album, a piece by pianist Keith Jarrett for instance, incorporates elements of a Brazilian Toada, or a tune by Coltrane, that of a Quadrilha. Similarly, in one of my songs, I use a blues phrasing blended with a Brazilian Northeastern scale. Additionally, a Calango may be combined with a Samba or a Baião, and a Spanish chord could be mixed with a Bossa Nova.
I have used this same kind of mixture also on Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea and Bill Evans’ tunes. Music borders vanish giving rise to fine musical mixtures seasoned by Jazz and Brazilian phrasing.
Brazilian Toada is characterized by a slower, softer and romantic form of Baião (Brazilian Northeastern musical style – see below). There are some variations also found in other regions.
Quadrilha is a four beat style often played in Northeastern Brazil during the Winter festivities.
Blues phrasing is a distinct way of phrasing based on the Blues scale.
The Northeastern Brazilian scale is a combination of the Lydian, Mixolydian and major scales. The Baião also incorporates other scales that contribute to its rich musical style.
Calango is a Brazilian Southeastern dance that contains rhythms of the Baião and also blends well with Samba and other two beat Brazilian styles.
Samba is the most popular Brazilian music style whose roots trace back to the African dances.
Baião is the most well known binary form in the Northeastern Brazil, which influenced many other styles.
Bossa Nova is the Brazilian musical genre most renown worldwide.
About the Songs
1) Floresta Azul (transl. Blue Forest) – A while ago, I created this medium tempo Toada, during a brake I had between two lessons I was giving. As I sat to play my piano, I came up with a musical phrase that combined two motifs which are commonly described in Composition Theory as a question and answer. In this case, however, I would call it a question and question since the theme never resolves. In addition, a third motif complements each section of the tune. This composition in a minor key seems to pose an endless inquiry. Two suspended chord progressions (the intermezzos) prepare for the musicians’ solos. The arrangement also highlights the piano and flute as soloists. The flute is played in its low range and sometimes sounds like an alto flute instead of a standard C flute.
2) Balada, (Ballad) – was written while I lived in Paris studying under the wing of my dear teacher Nadia Boulanger. During those evenings following intensive hours of music studies (1973/1974), I used to relax while listening to Jazz recordings including those by Bill Evans who probably inspired me to create this ballad. In 1978, I recorded this slow tempo melody in an album entitled Encontro Musical, which was released only in LP format. This arrangement however is completely different from its original version.
3) Giant Steps – is used in Music Schools as an exemplary tune for advanced studies of improvisation. This ingenious tune by Coltrane poses a challenge for improvisers. After having played this tune for a while I came to realize that its unusual sequence of chords was not as complicated as it seemed to be. By re-harmonizing and using composition techniques I created a more comprehensive sequence of chords and even a bridge in section B which I believe allows for broader possibilities for the solos, (piano, tenor sax and bass). What sparked my enthusiasm and surprised me the most was to discover the bridge I could create between Coltrane’s tune and the Quadrilha, a 4/4 style derived from the famous 2/4 Brazilian Northeastern Baiao, thus remarkably resembling the sounds of an unexpected real Northeastern Brazilian Jazz.
4) Con Alma – is a true Jazz Classic by the incredible musician and composer Dizzy Gillespie. The first time I listened to it was in a recording by another great pianist, Oscar Peterson, who also influenced my music. I decided to record this tune simply due to its inherent beauty and Latin Jazz flavor, even given the plethora of recordings by great Jazz musicians. Con Alma has enchanted my soul since the very first time I listened to it. After many years, I decided to include it in this album with my personal touch of Brazilian Bossa. In this arrangement I created a few variations in the melody and harmony which includes solos by Leo Amuedo (guitar), Marcelo Martin (tenor sax), Claudio Spiewak (acoustic guitar) and myself on the piano.
5) Misturando (Mixing) – Misturando means mixing as if in blending cultures or musical styles. This song poses the Fine Mixtures found in Jazz and Brazilian styles with a touch of Blues and Jazz combined with Samba (Samba Jazz). This live interpretation includes both acoustic and electric guitars in addition to the swing of the talented Jorge Helder (Bass) and Rafael Barata (drums and percussion). Following the guitar solo there is a bridge that sets the scene for a short drum solo prior to bringing back the theme.
6) Memories of Tomorrow – It’s hard to believe how this Keith Jarrett tune which I first listened in the Koln Concert album a long time ago, resembles a subtle and authentic Toada (a Brazilian slow/medium tempo Northeastern Baiao) which was a popular genre in the Brazilian musical scene during the late 60’s. I feel as if this tune could have been composed by any of the composers of that musical movement in Brazil. The similarities between the original song and the Toada become apparent in the harmony and phrasing of this arrangement, played in the album by a duo of piano and electric guitar.
7) Naima – This great tune by John Coltrane, Naima, which also stands as the anagram for Anima (soul), is a fantastic original recording by the author. In the arrangement, I expanded the spaces between some of the phrases enabling a deeper exploration of its rich harmony. This tune includes solos by the C flute, the piano and some phrases by the bass. The combination of the tempo, harmony and some variations from the original make this tune sound as one that could have been originated in Brazil. It is a lovely song.
8) Tres meninos (Three Little Boys) – One of my most recent compositions (2012) encounters what musicians may call a fusion of Baiao, Samba and Calango (a Brazilian dance found in the Southeast). Its cheerful melody could take you back to a childhood memory. A somewhat tricky chord sequence that includes electric guitar, piano and bass solos culminates in a distinct Northeastern Brazilian Forró (for all) party atmosphere. Naturally, it’s all seasoned with a Brazilian Jazz flavor.
9) Crystal Silence – One of my music icons, Chick Corea, wrote and recorded this inspired tune that has left a distinct impression in my mind, since I’ve listened it for the first time. This highly elegant and subtle melody was composed in partnership with Neville Potter. This song includes solos by the C Flute and piano. The Brazilian atmosphere characterized by its Bossa combined with the original Spanish Phrygian chords and Jazz influences create a unique sound.
10) Time Remembered – I couldn’t have ended this album without paying tribute to one of my major influences: the unique pianist and composer Bill Evans. This song contains several unusual chords including the ones with 11th and 13th extensions and alternated time signatures which further add color and richness. I was glad I decided to include this almost nine minute piece in the album. The piano solo is followed by the flute which at some point closely interacts with other musicians and doubles the pulse of the original time signature in an authentic and subtle Samba Jazz. What follows thereafter, is a return to the quietness and beauty of its tune.
Note: CD Finas Misturas has been Top Ten on JazzWeek.com charts