Samba jazz Alley, by Leonid Auskern – JazzQuad, Russia

Antonio Adolfo – Samba Jazz Alley Of all the previous works of the Brazilian pianist, composer and arranger Antonio Adolfo (and our site has written about many of them) most of all his new project Samba Jazz Alley echoes the album Tropical Infinito (2016). Here there is a great similarity both in terms of sound and arrangements, and the general aura of albums, their subjects. Both here and there, one of the veterans of the Brazilian jazz scene recalls his youth, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in the early 60s.

Jazz alley really existed in those years in the area of ​​Copacabana in Rio. It was there that young enthusiasts gathered, in whose minds the ideas of combining the latest trends of American jazz of that time with Brazilian music roamed, it was there that the bossa nova was born, it was there that samba jazz appeared. True, in the slang of musicians, this alley bore a different name: Beco das Garrafas (“Alley of bottles”), since, irritated by the constant noise and sounds of music, residents of nearby high-rises simply threw violators of their peace with empty bottles from the windows of houses. However, it stopped a few people. The bar, located in the center of this quarter, has become a kind of club, the main meeting place.

In the program of this nostalgic release, Antonio included the compositions of Brazilian classics in his arrangements. There are two compositions by Antonio Carlos Jobim (Corcovado and Passarim), Baden Powell and Vinicius De Moraes (Só Por Amor), Joao Donato (The Frog) and others, as well as two own pieces by Adolfo: Obrigado and Hello, Herbie (Hankoku tribute) . The romantic sadness of the bossa is perfectly conveyed by the composition Tristeza De Nos Dois, one of the authors of which is the well-known in Brazilian harmonica Mauricio Einhorn, who plays this ballad along with his younger colleague Gabriel Rossi.

Turning to the sound of the album as a whole, we can say that in Tropical Infinito, and in Samba Jazz Alley Adolfo built a strong brass line with trumpeter Jesse Zadok, saxophonist Marcelo Martins and trombonist Rafael Roja, who interact wonderfully with the rhythm group he leads . As already familiar with Adolfo’s releases, people familiar from previous records play in the composition of his ensembles, those whom the maestro knows well and who do not need to explain anything – like-minded people like those who gathered many years ago at Samba Jazz Alley …