Finas Misturas, review by Mark S.Tucker – FAME

Spanning four decades, Antonio Adolfo’s ear and expertise are luxuriously shown in Finas Misturas (Fine Mixtures), his latest release, and in fact are well documented in one of the cuts he chose to cover: Keith Jarrett’s Memories of Tomorrow, wherein the piano god utilized the ‘toado’ style Adolfo helped bring to much wider exposure in the 60s. Reflecting his Brazilian heritage, everything Antonio puts into his Misturas on some very classic selections here is born of that clime’s ever-balmy, ever-breezy, ever-mellifluous underpinnings. This gatherum of compositions by him, Coltrane, Jarrett, Dizzy, and others is a refined collation of what might otherwise have been raucous numbers, here brought to new manifestations under the player-composer’s own pianistic elegances and arrangements.

In fact, his own Misturando is one of several zeniths in a dectet of offerings too difficult to separate in competition against one another, each an illuminated display. The arrangement, though, is exquisite, giving the players marvelous opportunities to amplify all the thematics, one right after the other, maintaining melody impeccably while stretching and folding it. Naima is endowed with sussurant beauty, slow and thoughtful, and presages the coming Crystal Silence and Time Remembered, measured tablatures of pastorality, Evans’ Time the most delicate of all, Marcelo Martins’ flute singing from a palm tree overhead.

Adolfo, in that closing cut, takes Bill’s Romantic classicalist leanings and polishes each note, a mode wherein legato considerations would be interferatory, the song’s dynamics residing in the mind of the listener instead. In fact, one gets lost so thoroughly into the lyricism that when Martins slips back in, it’s almost a shock, as gentle as he is. And then Antonio sprinkles heavenly drops of rain down on the flute, sparkling essences that speak the last word in utopianism as Jorge Helder (bass) and Rafael Barrata (drums) ramp up the tempo for a brisk interlude, only to work back down again in a recapture receding like an untroubled wave on a drowsing summer shore. You’ve been working too hard, dear reader, so throw this on and escape.