CD Jobim Forever, by Jan van Leersum – RootsTIme (BE)

Antonio Carlos Jobim has been one of the brightest, most influential stars in the jazz firmament since winning several Grammy Awards for the release of Getz/Gilberto in 1965. Millions of people around the world have enjoyed his music which has also been recorded countless times by musicians from all genres. His songs are so ubiquitous that it makes it very difficult to apply a fresh approach to his oeuvre. It takes an artist of Antonio Adolfo's caliber to infuse Jobim's music with a new feel and truly transform it into a personal message. On Jobim Forever, Adolfo has imbued nine of Jobim's iconic songs from the 60s with his own unique artistry.

Pianist, arranger, producer and teacher Antonio Adolfo grew up in a musical family in Rio de Janeiro, he started his studies at the age of 7, at 17 he was already a professional musician. During the 1960's he led his own 3-D trio that took part in several Bossa Nova and Jazz shows in Brazil and toured with vocalists such as Leny Andrade, Carlos Lyra, Flora Purim and others. He wrote songs such as Pretty World which had great success and was performed by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Herb Albert and Dionne Warwick, among others. A topper so just like Jobim and that makes this album a unique musical event of two exceptional musical greats.

The moment Adolfo came into contact with Jobim's music came in 1959 during a weekend, when he heard on his mother's car radio “A Felicidade” by Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, composed for the film Black Oprpheus. From that moment, 12 years old, I searched passionately for that sound, it was love at first sight, in this case sound (cover text). Later in life he met Jobim and they became friends, Jobim's children and grandson were taught by Adolfo, so the circle became very small. For this album, Adolfo mainly focused on Jobim's oeuvre from the 1960s, given his introduction to his music in 1956, which is also the only exception.

The musicians playing here are mostly the same ones playing on his most recent albums. The occupation is at the end of this discussion. The album starts with the well-known “The girl from Ipanema”, the big hit by Astrud Gilberto, striking here and also on all songs the different character of the songs is in the hands of Adolfo and his musicians, of course the theme returns but the whole sounds much jazzier than the original. So this is an introduction to well-known compositions by Jobim, but Adolfo has kneaded a completely own version of it, so that it often sounds like new music, especially in the lesser known songs, the interpretation of the instrumentalists sounds clearly contemporary, more free and less popular than in the 60's. That already starts in the opening track, everyone knows the theme, but after that there is more room for the soloists than in the well-known version of yesteryear. Of course it remains a very strong song, but time has not stood still and Adolfo has made a major update in the arrangement. In "A felicidade" from 1956, the "discovery" of Jobim by Adolfo there is also clearly not so much a different arrangement, but a different, more modern instrumental interpretation, actually logical, we are more than half a century further in time .

One of my favorites is the uptempo “Favela (O morro nao tem vez)”, a wonderful musical party, I don't know the original, but this sounds fantastic with beautiful solos on alto saxophone. Also in “Inutil Paisagem” the emphasis in my ears is more on the instrumental performance than on the melody, and that applies to the entire album, Jobim's rock-solid melodies are still there, but the jazz is much more pronounced due to the arrangements by Adolfo and also by the soloistic qualities of the musicians. Jobim's music appealed to a very large audience and partly due to the success of the combination of Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto, it even became a commercial success, also for Getz, always a welcome addition to a jazz musician. But it must be said, Adolfo does not build on Jobim's successful themes, he uses his music but through his free interpretation he gives the music more space, which makes me prefer his versions. And I'm not alone in that, Antonio Adolfo's album is number one on the most played albums on North American jazz radios (September).

The line-up consists of: Antonio Adolfo (piano), Jesse Sadoc (trumpet & Flugelhorn), Marcelo Martins (tenor and soprano sax and flute), Danilo Sinna (alto sax), Rafael Rocha (trombone), Lula Galvao (guitar), Jorge Helder (double bass), Rafael Barata (drums), Dada Costa (percussion). Guests : Paulo Braga (drums) and Zé Renato (vocals).

Jan van Leersum