BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento, by Dr. Debra Jan Bibel –

Antonio Adolfo, from Rio de Janeiro and yet another student of Nadia Bouolanger, is a celebrated jazz pianist, composer, arranger, band leader, and educator. His large discography has tackled choro pioneers, samba composers old and new, bossa nova, and Latin jazz adaptations of Coltrane, Dizzy, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, and other jazz greats. He has also featured his own scores. This time, his focus is on Milton Nascimento, the gentle, internationally renown Brazilian composer and singer (currently age 77). For this album, Adolfo has a reduced band: the core of his own piano, double bass, drums, and tenor and alto saxophones or alto flute, plus, depending on track arrangement, acoustic or electric guitar, trumpet or flugelhorn, trombone, and various percussion. The album’s title, BruMa, not only means “mist” [bruma] but is a contraction of Bumadinho and Mariana, honoring two cities of the interior state of Mina Gerais that recently suffered lethal watery disasters. I own nearly all of Adolfo’s albums and regard this opus among his very best. This is Brazilian jazz with the emphasis on jazz. Claudio Spiewak’s electric guitar speaks out on the lead track, Fe Cega, Faca Amolada, while the familiar Nada Sera Como Antes (Nothing Will Be as It Was) is a brass-led piece. The music flows brightly and sweetly in deep grooves. The ballad Outubro features the piano and Jesse Sadoc’ trumpet. Cancao do Sal is a happy samba and a Nascimento hit; here, we hear a trombone solo [Rafael Rocha, missing from cover credits]. The rich harmonious arrangement of Encounters and Farewells sways with flute (Marcelo Martins). Although Nascimento was born in Rio de Janeiro, he was raised in Tres Pontas, the title of the next tune, with special attention to the bass [Jorge Helder) as driving force behind piano excursions. Cais (Harbor, an atmospheric meditation) and Caxangá (Afro-Brazilian bebop for a neighborhood in Recife) continue this outstanding album. Adolfo and his perfectly matched bandmates conclude with Tristesse, Sadness. Our sadness for reaching the end is remedied by playing the album again: Bravo Adolfo!