Octet And Originals, by John Sanders – JazzMusicArchives


Antonio Adolfo is one of the top composer/arrangers in Brazil, not only in jazz, but also pop, RnB and all manner of Latin styles. His latest album, “Octet and Originals”, is an album made up entirely of his original compositions, some of which have been recorded before, but now they have been given new arrangements for this new album. It is a very talented octet that Adolfo has assembled here, and their many tone colors bring a mini-big band flavor to the album. Adolfo handles the piano and brings his Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock influenced style to fill out the ensemble.

Rhythmic diversity is a big part of this new album. “Boogie Baiao is so named because the tune shifts from a Brazilian baiao to a stateside RnB boogie for the closing section. “Cascavel” mixes maracatu, calango and sambao and “Emau” is based on the quadrilha, a Brazilian folk dance that is characterized by the accent on the upbeat. “Feito Em Casa” combines baiao and samba, but closes with some grooving soul jazz riffs. Some of the tunes on here are already well known as vocal numbers, but Adolfo decided to re-record them as instrumentals. The original “Heart of Brazil” was sung by Dione Warwick and expressed concern for preserving the rain forests of Brazil. “Pretty World” is a pretty ballad whose lyrical version has been covered by Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert and others.

“Octet and Originals” should have strong appeal to Adolfo’s large fan base and fans of contemporary Brazilian jazz in general. The large ensemble presented here is capable of so many different shades and tone colors, often sounding much like French classical composers such as Debussy and Ravel, yet pushed by exciting Brazilian and US rhythms and topped by hot jazz solos. All of the soloists are great but special mention should go to the tenor sax and flute work of Marcelo Martins.