Samba Jazz Alley, by Allen Morrison – DownBeat

Firmly in the jazz category is the latest from pianist/bandleader Antonio Adolfo, Samba Jazz Alley (AAM 0713; 48:13 **** ½). Rio native, Adolfo had his first hit at the age 21 with his song “Pretty World” (known in Brazil as “Sá Marina”; it was covered by everyone from Sergio Mendes to Stevie Wonder. Since then, he’s led the septet that bears his name and includes several of Brazil’s top musicians, including trumpeter Jessé Sadoc, saxophonist Marcelo Martins, and the killer rhythm section of bassist Jorge Helder and drummer Rafael Barata. The program, dedicated to the memory of Rio’s legendary Bottles’ Alley, where Adolfo and others invented “samba jazz” in the 1960s, is grade A A. Adolfo.
A highlight is “Hello, Herbie”, clearly inspired by “Cantaloupe Island”, which pays a tropical tribute to the great Hancock. (Allen Morrison – DownBeat)