“BruMa” is not only Antonio Adolfo’s musical tribute to Milton Nascimento, but also a tribute to Milton’s attempts to help the victims of flooding in two Brazilian cities, which is reflected in the album’s title. The Bru refers to the city Brumadinho, and Ma refers to Moriana, two cities who suffered catastrophic consequences when earthen dams collapsed. Adolfo has worked with Milton as far back as the late 60s, which makes him a perfect candidate for reworking some of Nasciemento’s music. Many of these songs will be familiar to others, not only from Milton’s previous albums, but also from albums by artists such as Wayne Shorter and Stanley Turrentine. This is a Brazilian jazz album, but don’t expect non-stop bossas and sambas, those rhythms are used, but so are many other rhythms from Brazil, as well as rhythms from the worlds of contemporary jazz and RnB. Subtlety is the key here, Nascimento’s music is full of tricky rhythms and chord changes, but Adolfo’s smooth arrangements make this into an album almost anyone can enjoy.
There is only one samba on here, “Cancao Do Sal’, and it is one of the best tracks with an excellent driving piano muntuno to push it forward. “Caxanga” uses Afro-Brazilian rhythms from Bhia that sound a lot like jazz RnB from the US east coast. Likewise, the relaxed shuffle of “Nada Sera Como Antes” is similar to a hip-hop jazz groove. With a four horn front line there are plenty of solos to go around, with some of the best coming from the Coltrane inspired tenor of Marcelo Martins. The classic music of Milton Nascimento is in good hands with these tasteful mini-big band arrangements.