Jazz Review

Antonio Adolfo -Rio, Choro, Jazz...

Brazilian pianist and composer Antonio Adolfo has a new CD. 

Born in Rio, his mother was violinist with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and Antonio at 17, after studying with Deodato in Brazil, and Nadio Boulanger in Paris, was a professional with his own trio. He added his piano genius on tour with Elis Regina and Milton Nasciemento.  His songs have been recorded by Stevie Wonder, Earl Klugh, and Dionne Warwick.  His new album is a delightful blend of Brazillian and jazz, including his own compositions. Brazilian music evolved in a unique blend of African samba, European dance, Choro, and Moorish melody, Baiaioi.  On this CD Adolfo, along with flute and acoustic guitar focuses on two Brazilian composers Guinga and Chico Barque who have both created new concepts of the choro and baibaio.   While the music he chooses to explore is intrigueing and charming, Adolfo takes it to a new level. With his knowledge of harmony and his exploration of jazz rhythms, he creates a wonderful sound that is both complex and delightfully fun!  Rafael Barata and Marcos Suzano are the percussionists who keep the fascinating variety of rhythms flowing into an easy and dynamic presence throughout the folk, jazz and bluesy sounds of "Rio, Choro, Jazz...".    Treat yourself to the music of Antonio Adolfo and I bet you will find yourself seeking out his other work to hear more of this Brazilian Jazz blend.     

Saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi has had a long and distinguished career as a performer, composer and clinician. After starting his career with the Dave Brubeck quartet in the 70s he has continued to hone his skills, and his latest recording on Savant Records, By Any Other Name is a testament to his talents.

What I find interesting about the recording is that the tunes are based on standards like Bye Bye Blackbird and Joy Spring. I really had to listen hard to figure out what each tune was based on. His melodic lines are effortless and his harmonic sense is a joy to listen to. My favorite tune on the CD was "PG2013" which is loosely based on "Giant Steps" by Coltrane. As a sax player that tune has always been a challenge for me and I'm really impressed with his imaginative take on this classic.  If you haven't heard of Jerry Bergonzi, this is your chance to give him a listen and discover someone who keeps jazz exciting. 

Celebrate Count Basie this Tuesday night at 9 on KJaZZ in honor of his birthday. There will be swing.

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