Rio, Choro, Jazz…, by Brent Black – critical

While Antonio Carlos Jobim brought Brazilian music and specifically the samba to a global audience, the Choro has remained as one of the more influential parts of Brazilian popular music while never getting the full attention this magnificent art form deserves. What is the choro? An up-tempo rhythmic improvisational music characterized by syncopated rhythms and a link to certain cultural forms of European dance and the African influence already steeped in Brazilian culture. Think of it as Brazilian house music.

Rio, Choro, Jazz is a superbly crafted look at the work of one of Brazil's three most legendary composers, Ernesto Nazareth. Nine of the ten tracks are exquisitely arranged compositions from Nazareth with the opener "Rio, Choro, Jazz..." a dynamic new original from Adolfo. Having often said simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, within this acoustic based sextet that are layers of meticulously nuanced flavors and a lyrical flow that creates a effervescent texture of both arranged and improvised melodic purpose. While the compositions of Nazareth are over one hundred years old, the artistic vision of Antonio Adolfo allows for a modern improvisational direction without every losing the authenticity of music that transcends both genre, space, and time. The classical influence of Chopin shines through on the Nazareth composition "Feitico" while Adolfo's "Rio, Choro, Jazz..." might serve as the perfect sonic example of the more traditional Choro as served up in a practical application. Harmonic bookends.

Some Brazilian music is recorded and presented by artists with authenticity yet no vision. Other artists release works steeped in vision but with no fundamental or authentic base from which their creation can be linked. Antonio Adolfo has taken an incredibly influential piece of Brazilian culture and reinvented the presentation while never wandering off the harmonic course that this adventurous ensemble sets early on.

A stunning mosaic of colors you can hear.