Encontros – Orquestra Atlantica, by By Leonid Auskern (JazzQuad, Russia)

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Quite a lot of albums of the Brazilian pianist and composer Antonio Adolfo I happened to hear and review, but there were no records with large compositions among them. As it turned out, they were not at all, and Adolfo had long dreamed of working with a big band, who would be equally well-versed in both jazz and Brazilian music. The dream began to become a reality when Antonio heard in Rio de Janeiro the performance of Orquestra Atlantica, an ensemble that exists since 2012. It should be noted immediately that big bands are in principle a rarity in Brazilian music. And Orquestra Atlantica was so impressed by one of the most prominent Brazilian composers and musicians that it was this composition that he invited to work on a joint project. The result of the collaboration was the album being presented.

True, the names of many members of the composition, for example, guitarist Amuido, trumpeter Sadok, saxophonist Martins and some others, were previously featured in the combo with which Antonio Adolfo was recorded. But here they are all represented together, working as a whole, which, of course, gives the music a new quality. The musical program of the album is, with the exception of the classic composition of Miles Davis Milestones, from the plays of Antonio Adolfo, new and already well known, like his hit Sa Marina. In general, the names of many of his compositions look like a visiting card of Brazilian culture in general. Africa Bahia Brasil – than an illustration of African influences in Brazilian culture, and even with the indication of their main center. Partido Samba-Funk – here and in the title, and most importantly, in music – the fusion of rhythms of samba with African-American funk in a dance groove. Capoeira Yá is a jazz hymn to the famous Brazilian wrestling dance. Well, of course, a special place belongs to Saudade – exclusively to the Brazilian phenomenon, music, singing a special feeling of sweet sadness.

Excellent conveyed this feeling of Flugelhorn Jesse Sadok. In general, there are many bright solo episodes in the album. Soloists and fans, which is quite natural, and Antonio Adolfo himself. His play is especially good in slow and medium-tempo pieces, for example, Delicada Jazz Waltz or Atlantica. In the last play we also hear the vocal part of the leader of the band. Well, the big-band essence of the project is best conveyed by the powerful riffs of the whole rather big brass section. Big band in Brazil – it’s great!