TEMA, by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower

This CD is a collection of ten tracks, all with solo or collaborative compositions by pianist, Antonio Adolfo, who has been favorably reviewed on these pages, in live and recorded performances. “Tema" means theme, in Portuguese, and the Brazilian native, Mr. Adolfo, has invited friends to collaborate and help him expand his decades-worth of original piano themes. Claudio Spiewak, who plays acoustic guitar and electric bass on the album, has also co-composed “SamboJazz". Other performers, in accompaniment on this album, are Marcelo Martins, on flutes and sax, Rafael Barata, on drums and percussion, Armando Marçal on percussion, Leo Amuedo on electric guitar, Jorge Helder on bass, and Hugo Sandim on percussion. It should be noted that the multiple percussionists enhance the Brazilian Samba motif with exotic flair and ebullient rhythms.

Notable tracks:

#2 – Natureza – Composed by Antonio Adolfo and Xico Chaves. This is a gorgeous melody, led by piano and introduced by tropical percussion. Alto flute, drums, cymbals, and electric guitar evoke breezy warmth and sandy beaches. With the nature-imbued title, one is instantly relaxed, in an aura of aesthetic calm. There’s an improvisational element to the music that’s refreshing.

#4 – SamboJazz – Composed by Antonio Adolfo and Claudio Spiewak. This was my favorite track, transporting me right into Rio. The Brazilian Samba motif was infused throughout, with native percussion, whistles and shakers, plus electric piano in combination with electric guitar, double bass, and more. Mr. Adolfo is in command of the captivating theme, while his ensemble creates a south of the border, party ambiance.

#6 – Sao Paulo Express – Composed by Antonio Adolfo. Mr. Adolfo hands over generous riffs to Leo Amuedo and Claudio Spiewak, on electric and acoustic guitar, as well as to Marcelo Martins on soprano sax, for a very energized, eclectic listening experience. The composition is both urban and busy, as soloists grab the jazzy momentum.

#7 – Todo Dia – Composed by Antonio Adolfo and Xico Chaves. Once again, this is a collaboratively led track, featuring a dissonant, contemporary sax solo. Rafael Barata on drums and Jorge Helder on bass, with electric guitar embellishment, expanded the moment. This particular composition has an atonal, urbane focus, giving the listener a hint of Mr. Adolfo’s artistic mood.