Richmond, California (EastBayDaily) — Jazz and samba have shared a rich interactive history for the last half-century. In Rio de Janeiro, musicians took note of Chet Baker, Bill Evans, and composers like Cole Porter while jazz musicians in Los Angeles and New York absorbed the music of “Black Orpheus” and bossa nova innovators Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto.
Pianist/composer Antonio Adolfo was one of those young Rio players in the 1960s who found himself captivated by these new sounds, both at home and abroad. On his new CD “Lá e Cá (Here and There),” Adolfo juxtaposes his own compositions and three of Jobim’s with jazz and American Songbook classics to create a gorgeous showcase for this alluring musical synthesis and for Adolfo’s self-described obsession with Brazilian phrasing. His vocalist daughter Carol Saboya is featured on five tracks—one in Portuguese (“Sabiá”) and the others in English (“All the Things You Are,” “A Night in Tunisia,” “Time After Time,” “So in Love”).
Throughout “Lá e Cá,” Adolfo applies his Brazilian phrasing to American songs such as “Easy to Love” (“I am a passionate admirer of Cole Porter’s music”), “Lullaby of Birdland” (performed in a medley with Jobim’s “Garoto”), and Jerome Kern’s “All the Things You Are.” Jobim’s “Nuvens Douradas” is paired with Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.”
“Time After Time” is inspired by Chet Baker’s 1954 recording, which enthralled Adolfo and other Brazilian musicians. “It’s safe to say that his vocal interpretations have influenced an entire generation of musicians in Rio/Brazil,” states the pianist.
Adolfo’s own work is represented by two early compositions, “Cascavel” and “Toada Jazz (O Retirante),” and the more recent “Minor Chord.”
Recorded in Rio de Janeiro in December 2009, “Lá e Cá” was produced and arranged by Adolfo and features Uruguayan-born guitarist Leo Amuedo (a frequent collaborator with Ivan Lins), bassist Jorge Helder (often heard with Chico Buarque and Maria Bethânia), drummer Rafael Barata (Edu Lobo, Rosa Passos, Mônica Salmaso), and Sergio Trombone (a veteran of countless Rio sessions).
“Lá e Cá” picks up where father and daughter left off with their critically acclaimed 2007 CD, “Antonio Adolfo and Carol Saboya Ao Vivo/Live.” “I love performing with Carol,” says Adolfo. “She’s very jazz-oriented, the type of singer musicians like to play with.”
In addition to his prolific work as a pianist, composer, and arranger, Adolfo, 63, continues to be a leader in music education. The Centro Musical Antonio Adolfo in Rio and a new experimental Brazilian music school in Hollywood, Florida, where he resides, are a big part of his current professional life.
Saboya, 35, also teaches at the Centro, in Rio, and maintains her own recording career, which began with an appearance on Sergio Mendes’s Grammy-winning “Brasileiro” (1992). Carol’s CDs include the Sharp Prêmio award-winning “Dança da Voz”; and “Janelas Abertas,” a session with guitarist Nelson Faria, as well as “Sessão Passatempo,” “Presente,” and the recent “Chão Aberto,” all released in Brazil. Her “Bossa Nova” and “Nova Bossa” were made for JVC Japan.
Terri Hinte PR