I suppose it is no surprise for fans and critics alike to agree that we have learned to expect the best when it comes from the mind and hands of Antonio Adolfo. His discography covers a wide array of successful albums that always climb the musical charts easily and deservingly. His ability to innovate even the most common and often recorded music with tasteful arrangements and make a familiar song sound new is synonymous with excellence.
Here in MusicaBrasileira.org, we have written about Adolfo a dozen times or more. When you hear Jobim Forever, Adolfo’s latest album, you can easily understand why we keep coming back to his music. How can one resist fine arrangements and memorable performances?
Just released on July 31, 2021, Jobim Forever is a tribute from a master pianist, composer, and arranger to a giant of Brazilian music. Once again, Adolfo surrounded himself with the cream of the crop in Brazilian jazz. Names you have seen in his recent releases come back to Jobim Forever. You will hear Jessé Sadoc (trumpet and flugelhorn), Danilo Sinna (alto sax), Marcelo Martins (tenor sax and flutes), Rafael Rocha (trombone), Lula Galvão (guitar), Jorge Helder (bass), Dada Costa (percussion) and Paulo Braga (drums). Incidentally, the addition of Paulo Braga in this recording is very special. Braga himself played with Tom Jobim until 1994, when Jobim passed away. Besides that special guest, one more guest artist is featured on vocals on “A Felcidade.” I am referring to the soaring vocals of Zé Renato in that track.
The first thing I noticed in these arrangements for Jobim Forever is the remarkable sound affinity to the famous Bottles’ Alley (Beco das Garrafas) sound that made Bossa Nova famous. Trombone and saxes easily take you back in time and place you in Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of Bossa Nova.
Selecting this repertoire, as is always the case in the Jobim vast music collection, is no easy task. Adolfo explains in the liner notes that he decided to concentrate on music Jobim wrote in the 1960s.The exception is “A Felicidade,” which has a very special meaning for Adolfo. That was the song he heard that defined the musician he would one day become. While listening to his mother’s car radio, “A Felicidade” started to play. Adolfo then says:
At some point, I was taken in by something magical that came through that car radio — it was the song “A Felicidade,” by Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, composed for the film Black Orpheus. It gave me a feeling I had never experienced before, a true and profound “love at first sight.” From that moment at the age of 12, I started to pursue that sound passionately. I discovered that behind that magical sound there were other factors.
As the saying goes, the rest is history. To give you a taste of the music you can hear in Jobim Forever, Adolfo created this beautiful video that includes scenes at Rio de Janeiro’s Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden), one of Jobim‘s favorite places. Enjoy the beautiful sights and magnificent music below.