BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento, by Pierre Giroux, All About Jazz

Antonio Adolfo and Milton Nascimento are two legends of Brazilian music. These individuals have had a long history of friendship and appreciation, so it should come as no surprise that Adolfo decided to put together an album dedicated to the music of Nascimento. Hence BruMa : Celebrating Milton Nascimento.

The reach and influence of singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento stretches far beyond his native Brazil. Among his many achievements are Grammy Nominations, and Down Beat Polls. Many of his compositions have become standards in his homeland as well as readily recognizable in North America.

Antonio Adolfo is a highly regarded and multi-talented Brazilian musician with a deep appreciation of Nascimento’s influence as an interpreter of Brazilian themes. He has arranged the chosen compositions reverentially, starting with “Fe Cega, Faca Amolada” (Blind Faith, Sharp Knife). The electricity of the number jumps off the disc with the rhythmic cadence established by drummer Rafael Barata and an over the top solo from tenor saxophonist Marcelo Martins.

There is an interesting change of pace with the following track, “Nada Sera Como Antes”(Nothing Will Be As It Was), as it slides along as a jazz shuffle, remainging in keeping with the overall theme of the session. Pianist Adolfo chips in with a nifty solo, does as alto saxophonist Danilo Sinna.

One might have expected to have more sambas in a Brazilian themed album, but the only one on offer here is “Canção Do Sal” (Salt Song). It is a breezy composition with layers of rhythm, punctuated by a bristling trombone solo from Rafael Rocha and a creative interjection from tenor saxophonist Marcelo Martins.

Brazil is a diverse country, and the musical styles that flow from that diversity provide inspirational choices, such as the Afro-Brazilian rhythms from the state of Bahia on the number entitled “Caxanga.” Anchored in the pulsating beat of the tune, alto saxophonist Danilo Sinna rips off a terrific solo followed by guitarist Lula Galvão.

The final track on this session is “Tristesse”(Sadness). This beautifully portrayed waltz brings the band together through an arrangement that captures their rich and expressive voicing over which the nimble fingers of guitarist Leonardo Amuedo weaves a spell.

This is a tribute from one Brazilian master to another that is filled with emotional energy and extroverted vision.