Leading figures in Brazil’s popular music, performer Antonio Adolfo and composer Milton Nascimento have been friends for 50 years and throughout his career Adolfo, a gifted pianist, has performed Nascimento’s music. He is joined here by instrumentalists who are, perhaps, less well known internationally, but all play with skill and understanding.
Nascimento’s music, like much of that of his native country, is rhythmically complex yet subtly composed. He has always been forward thinking, bringing into his work new ideas that helped broaden his music’s appeal. As jazz fans will be aware, these underlying rhythmic subtleties were elements evident in the bossa-nova movement from the 1960s onward.
Apart from Adolfo, other instrumental soloists are tenor saxophonist Marcelo Martins, on Fe Cega, Faca Amolada and Cançåo Do Sal, alto saxophonist Danilo Sinna, on Nada Sera Como Antes and Caxanga, and trumpeter Jesse Sadoc, on Tres Pontàs.
As might be expected given the musical genre, guitarists are important figures as soloists and in support, and those gathered here are all good. Similarly important is the rhythmic underpinning provided principally by Rafael Barata, who is ably assisted by Dada Costa.
Altogether, as the album subtitle denotes, this pleasing album is a celebration of the work of a major figure in Brazilian music. The word bruma is Portuguese for mist, but the album’s title appears as BruMa, taking the first syllable of the names of two towns, Bruadhino and Mariana, destroyed in disastrous floods in 2019 and 2015.
Fe Cega, Faca Amolada; Nada Sera Como Antes; Outubro; Cançåo Do Sal; Encontros E Despedidas; Três Pontas; Cais; Caxanga; Tristesse (47.44)
Adolfo (p); Jesse Sadoc (t); Rafael Roch (tb); Marcelo Martins (af, ts); Danilo Sinna (as); Claudio Spiewak (g); Lula Galvao, Leo Amuedo (elg); Jorge Helder (b); Rafael Barata (d, pc); Dada Costa (pc). Unknown location, 2020.
AAM Music 0714