CD BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento, House of Prog by Kev Rowland

Born in 1942, guitarist and composer Milton Nascimento is widely regarded as Brazil’s greatest living composer, having a huge impact on Latin music. Pianist Adolfo first met him in 1967 just before the Second International Song Festival (FIC) in Rio Janeiro, and Milton’s entry “‘Travessia’ (Bridges)” had a huge impact on him. It was not long after that, that Milton released his debut album which gained him the international acclaim which has seen his songs recorded by others worldwide. Adolfo decided it was long past time to pay homage to someone he greatly admires, and initially started working in 30 songs before culling it down to the 11 which appear on the album (which include three from that debut).

Adolfo is the pianist, arranger, and band leader, but here he often lets others take the lead in what is quite a horns-dominated piece of work. It is relaxing yet vibrant, restrained yet powerful, always taking the listener on a wonderful journey. Adolfo’s recording career goes all the way back to 1964 when he was leading his own trio, and ever since he has been working as a musician, arranger and even educator (writing books on Brazilian music) and be found running workshops on different Brazilian Music styles (Samba, Bossa Nova, Partido Alto, Samba-funk, Choro, Baião, Xote, Quadrilha, Afoxé, Maracatu and Frevo). He has spent his whole life immersed in this style of music, so he is perfectly placed to provide an appreciation of Milton Nascimento which can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone who enjoys great Latin jazz, whether they know the originals or not. When he allows himself to take the lead his touch is delicate and refined, creating the perfect mood, and he has surrounded himself with musicians who appreciate the style and form, the result being a very polished and enjoyable album perfect for a Summer’s day.