I have been following pianist, composer and arranger Antonio Adolfo for years. For example, I have already reviewed 5 of his CDs for another site. He himself has already recorded more than 25 as leader.
In the past, he focused on composers such as Antonio Carlos Jobim (2021), Milton Nascimento (2020) etc. This year the bossa nova exists 65 years, but it still sounds sparkling!
On this new CD, Antonio focuses on two composers of that genre, namely Carlos Lyra and Roberto Menescal. Antonio has been active for over 60 years, has won a Latin Grammy Award several times, and is an internationally recognized Brazilian artist.
Over 200 of his original compositions have been covered by artists such as Sergio Mendes, Earl Klugh, Herb Alpert, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick. Antonio considers singer & composer Carlos Lyra as his musical mentor and godfather. He first met him in 1963. There are 5 tracks from Lyra on this CD. The other 5 come from Roberto Menescal, also a pioneer of that genre.
This CD was recorded in Brazil together with musicians Lula Galvao (guitar), Jorge Helder (bass), Rafael Barata (drums & percussion), Dada Costa (percussion), Jesse Sadoc (trumpet & bracket), Danilo Sinna (sax), Marcelo Martins (sax & flute) and Rafael Rocha (trombone).
The songs were performed instrumentally and the CD opens with 'Coisa Mais Linda' by Lyra, followed by 'Samba Do Carioca' (also by Lyra). Menescal's 'Bye Bye Brasil' was once composed for the 1980 film of the same name, followed by his well-known 'O Barquinho', which must also have been covered thousands of times.
'Maria Moita' is a samba from Lyra, and 'Tete' (Menescal) is a romantic samba-cançao, a Brazilian bolero. The 'Marcha Da Quarta-Feira De Cinzas' (Lyra) reflects melancholy, followed by the cheerful 'Rio' (Menescal). 'Nos E O Mar' is a romantic bossa by Menescal, and closing track 'Sabe Voce' by Lyra lets you gently rock along.
Antonio's elegant piano work and complex arrangements are influenced by bebop, soul and West Coast jazz. This is again a nice tribute to two legendary composers. Recommended!