Encontro – Orquestra Atlantica, by Dee Dee McNeil (Musical Memoirs WordPress)

ANTONIO ADOLFO – ENCONTROS ORQUESTRA ATLANTICA AAMO712
Antonio Adolfo, piano/vocals; Nelson Faria & Claudio Jorge, acoustic guitars; Leo Amuedo, electric guitar; Jorge Helder, double bass; Rafael Barata, drums; Dada Costa, percussion; Jesse Sadoc, trumpet & flugelhorn; Gesiel Nasciento, trumpet; Danilo Sinna, alto sax/flute; Marcelo Martins, tenor saxophone/flute; Levi Chaves, baritone/soprano saxophones; Aldivas Ayres & Wanderson Cunha, trombone; Marcos Nimrichter, accordion; Ze Renato, vocals; Members of Orquestra Atlantica.
Until now, Antonio Adolfo has mostly been a featured pianist with small ensembles. I recall reviewing him in 2016 when his album, “Tropical Infinito” was released. This project is a dream come true for Adolfo. As a talented pianist/bandleader, he has always wanted to record with a big band that understood Brazilian music and how beautifully it combines with jazz. It was in 2012 when Antonio Adolfo witnessed a Brazilian jazz orchestra in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil called Orquestra Atlantica. He knew immediately that he had found the big band that he wanted to record his original music. As a composer, Adolfo recognized using this top-grade orchestra to interpret his compositions would cast a bright and beautiful spotlight on his writing ability.
Antonio Adolfo enjoyed arranging a new version of his biggest hit record, “Sa Marina” that he composed in 1967. With lyrics written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and in English named, “Pretty World,” his song has been recorded by more than 200 artists. Below is an example, sung by Stevie Wonder.
On this big band arrangement of the same song, after his spontaneous piano solo, he features Marcelo Martins on tenor saxophone and also Levi Chaves on baritone sax and trombonist Aldivas Ayres. They put new fire and passion into his song.
All the music on this album explore Adolfo’s original compositions with the exception of “Milestones,” the Miles Davis jazz standard. On this arrangement, Adolfo has combined bebop jazz with Frevo and shares his piano solo with accordionist, Marcos Nimrichter. The entire production has a smooth, cohesive sound and blends his Brazilian culture with jazz in a very contemporary way. The horns fly like startled birds and are beautifully arranged.
On “Luizao,” written as a tribute to the late bassist, Luizao Maia, who was an innovator in reinventing the way that a samba is played on the bass instrument. He was also once a member of Antonio Adolfo’s small ensembles. During this straight-ahead big band performance, Adolfo chooses to highlight valve trombonist, Serginho. All in all, this is an expansion of Antonio Adolfo’s exceptional talents and a beautifully arranged album of his compositions, grandly interpreted in a big band, orchestrated way.