LOVE COLE PORTER, by Stephen Smoliar – THE REHEARSAL ROOM

"An engaging journey of discovery, not only as a new perspective on familiar Porter tunes, but also of less familiar stylistic genres; and that should be enough to sustain multiple encounters taken by any attentive listener."

https://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2024/06/antonio-adolfo-explores-cole-porter

Those that have been following my work for time may know that my interest in Brazilian jazz pianist Antonio Adolfo predates my writing about him on this site. I first encountered one of his albums, Rio, Choro, Jazz…, in April of 2014 during my tenure with Examiner.com; and I have tried my best to keep up with him since then. During the last half-decade, I have explored and accounted for the diversity of his releases on these Web pages.

Over the course of those releases, Rio de Janeiro has remained Adolfo’s focal point, although his Encontros album of performances of arrangements and orchestrations for Orquestra Atlantica set aside one of its tracks for Miles Davis’ “Milestones.” Next week will see the release of Adolfo’s latest album. Once again, his interests will take him “north of the border” with a ten-track offering entitled Love Cole Porter. In a departure from usual conventions, this album will be available one week from today through a Bandcamp Web page, which is currently processing pre-orders for both the compact disc and digital download.

What is most interesting about this album is that the diversity of Adolfo’s selections has allowed him to explore styles beyond the usual samba and bossa nova genres. These styles include toada, ijexá, frevo, quadrilha, and partido alto; and I am not ashamed to confess that I did not have the foggiest idea of any of them. (Presumably, the quadrilha is the Latin version of a Western quadrille.) Of course the tunes themselves were all familiar to me, as they would probably be to most listeners (or, at least, those of my generation)! As a result, I could approach this album as a “journey through styles,” using each of the tunes as a “basic point of reference.”

The result was an engaging journey of discovery. As usual, Adolfo led from the keyboard. However, he worked with a team of instrumentalists to enable his “transformation” of Porter standards. His front line included Jesse Sadoc, alternating between trumpet and flugelhorn, Marcello Martins, also alternating, this time across tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, and flute, and Danilo Sinna on alto saxophone. His rhythm section consisted of Lula Galvo on guitar, bassist Jorge Helder, and Rafael Barata on drums, sharing other percussion instruments with Dada Costa.

Playing the album thus becomes a journey of discovery, not only as a new perspective on familiar Porter tunes but also of less familiar stylistic genres; and that should be enough to sustain multiple encounters taken by any attentive listener.