Encontros – Orquestra Atlantica, by Ron Weinstock – Jazz & Blues Report

Most of the recordings of the Brazilian born pianist- composer-arranger Antonio Adolfo have found him in a small group context as he explores his usage of Bra- zilian rhythms in a jazz context. He was so impressed when he saw Orquestra Atlantica in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, he invited them to be part of a new recording. The personnel for this recording include Adolfo: piano; Nelson Faria and Claudio Jorge: acoustic guitars; Leo Amuedo: electric guitar; Jorge Helder: bass; Rafael Barata: drums; Dada Costa: percussion; Jessé Sadoc: trumpet & flugelhorn; Danilo Sinna: alto saxophone & flute; Marcelo Martins: tenor saxophone & flute; Marcos Nimrichter: accordion and Ze Renato: vocals. The arrangements of Jessé Sadoc and Marcelo Martins mix together the sound of big band jazz with various Brazilian styles.
Adolfo describes the opening selection, “Partido Samba-Funk," as a tune combining samba with a variety of Brazilian funk, and while it has sparkling percussion and solid solos by Adolfo and Danilo Sinna on alto sax, it is Jessé Sadoc’s explosive trumpet solo that gets the recording off to a stirring start. Ze Renato contributed a wordless vocal to this track as well as “Pentatonica," with a strong melody driven by a strong rhythmic pulse and strong solos by guitarist Leo Amuedo and tenor saxophonist Marcelo Martins. Martins’ arrangement is quite attractive here with especially nice writing to employ the lower register of his horns. Named after the band, “Atlantica," is a medium tempo ballad, with a solid bass solo by Helder along with Mar- tins’ sprite bird-like flute playing. The driving “Luizao" is dedicated to the late Luizao Maia, a former member of Adolfo’s band and a bass innovator in playing the
samba. It has a brassy arrangement and has a slightly gruff valve trombone solo from Serginho.
The one cover is Miles Davis’ second “Milestones," which combines hard bop with the Frevo style of Brazilian music on a briskly-paced tune that features an imaginative, well constructed piano solo by the leader and a Marcos Nimrichter’s spirited, horn-like accordion solo with Sadoc’s arrangement especially coloring the solos, adding to on this dynamic performance. Sadoc’s lovely flugelhorn adds to the contrasting moods of “Saudade," while Nelson Faria’s acoustic guitar evokes the one-string berimbau as well as flamenco guitar on his opening to “Capoeira Yá," which also has an- other fiery trumpet solo by Sadoc, while “Africa Bahia Brasil," has an irresistible groove, sizzle in the horns (including Sinna’s impassioned alto sax) and one of the leader’s strongest solos.
After a lovely “Delicada Jazz Waltz," with charm- ing solos by Adolfo and accordionist Nimrichter (and lovely scoring of the flutes by Sadoc), this recording closes with a vibrant rendition of Adolfo’s biggest hit, “Sa Marino," with Martins soloing strongly and ener- getic trading of lines by Levi Chaves on baritone sax and trombonist Aldivas Ayres. It closes another striking recording by Adolfo. Ron Weinstock