Album Of The Week: Hybrido – From Rio To Wayne Shorter, Antonio Adolfo

by chipboaz on April 25, 2017

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Musicians spend countless hours of their lives listening to their favorite recordings on repeat in the name of enjoyment, study, and inspiration; in the end, they’re actually doing something far more important – building relationships with other artists. Jazz musicians put so much of themselves into the process of creating a recording – from the composition to the arranging and performing, musicians infuse their personality, priorities, and world view into every sound. Each additional close listen reveals a new side of the artist, teaching the listener how the artist saw music and the world. The insights that a listener gains across multiple plays reveals so much that we start to build a very personal connection to the artist. We understand their choices, analyze their musical vision, and start to see the creation of music from their perspective. In the end, musicians are influenced by the relationships that they build through listening. The depth of that relationship comes through in the way that the listener than reinterprets that listening through their own voice, extending the influence of the original artist with a unique perspective. On Hybrido – From Rio to Wayne Shorter, Brazilian pianist Antonio Adolfo shares his relationship with legendary jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter through an inspired collection of performances on highly personalized versions of Shorter’s songs.

Exploring Shorter’s Blue Note Era With Clever Arrangements
Adolfo digs deeply into Shorter’s Blue Note period, creating a number of original takes on classic compositions from this era. The group takes a very rhythmic perspective to the melody on “Deluge,” hitting short percussive notes and syncopating the melody into an angular shape. Trumpet player Jessé Sadoc enthusiastically flies through a rapid run that opens into an inspired statement, following by a fiery improvisation from saxophonist Marcelo Martins filled with quick notes and a smoldering tone. A brief interlude sets up a soft intensity behind Adolfo’s Fender Rhodes solo, a different sound for the pianist that adds an engaging sonic color to the mix. The rhythm section walks the line between swing and samba as Adolfo, guitarist Lula Galvão, Sadoc, & Martins flow through the melody on “Black Nile,” highlighting the fine line between those two styles. Martins reveals a hard bop flair for melody as he builds a swinging solo, leading directly into Adolfo, who leans on the addictive rhythmic nature of samba to develop his improvisation. As the wind players provide some chordal accompaniment, Galvão develops ideas from the melody into a jazz informed statement, followed by a colorfully syncopated drum solo from Rafael Barata framed by rhythm section kicks. Adolfo paints Shorter’s “Speak No Evil,” in a new light with a distinctly different tempo and feel while holding onto the integral compositional elements. Trombonist Serginho Trombone Creates a statement filled with an intriguing mixture of rhythmic intensity and jazz insight, while Martins balances lyrical lines and flights of rapid runs. Adolfo grabs the last line of Martins’ solo and uses it as a launching point for his ear grabbing solo, leading the band back to the main theme and an explosion of percussive ideas from Barata. The Blue Note era was an inspired period in Shorter’s career, and Adolfo grabs onto that inspiration with clever arrangements and energetic performances.

Looking At Shorter’s Time With Davis From A Unique Perspective
Adolfo cleverly chooses several other pieces that originated during Shorter’s time with Miles Davis. Adolfo rearranges the classic bass line to Shorter’s “Footprints” into a lush ostinato that opens into a quietly beautiful rendition of the melody, executed by a combination of voices, piano, and horns. Galvão explores the spacious grandeur of the group’s accompaniment with a lush and lyrical statement until vocal background lines swell beneath Serginho Trombone who attacks his solo with an aggressive force. The group sways between swing and samba behind Adolfo’s rich combination of harmony and melody, followed by a quick and poignant improvisation from bassist Jorge Helder before closing with percussive embellishments from Barata. A moody melodic figure floats over intricate riffing on Udu Drum from André Siqueira, making way for a mysterious reading of the melody on “Prince Of Darkness” from the ensemble. Adolfo grabs his improvisatory space with defined rhythmic ideas and references to the melody, followed by an impassioned collection of ideas on soprano sax from Martins. Galvão weaves spacious lines around the chord changes, building into tense rhythms and melodic ideas, while Siqueira wraps improvised Udu figures around the proceedings with a vivacious energy. The persistent presence of a melodic pattern from Adolfo evolves naturally into the melody on “E.S.P.,” making way for Martins to wind the slippery melody around the floating rhythmic structure. The rhythm section falls into a coloristic space behind Martins, until the melodic propulsion of his soprano sax pulls the group into a rhythmic drive, leading into a beautiful combination of chordal and single note melodies from Galvão. Adolfo’s phrasing finds every corner of the form, intertwining playful rhythms with melodic strength, building a phrase that falls into an etherial collection of sounds that transitions the group into the main melody. Shorter’s collaboration with Davis certainly brought new sides of his musicianship to the forefront, a fact that Adolfo captures with unique perspectives on this music.

Songs From Native Dancer And An Original Composition
Adolfo rounds out the album with two songs from the Shorter album Native Dancer and one of his own compositions. The pianist creates a gentle atmosphere with a solo piano introduction that finds its way into a driving samba with an edge of funk behind Shorter’s “Beauty and the Beast,” where the melody jumps elegantly between band members. On flute, Martins nimbly bounces between rhythmic lines that play off the samba backdrop and smart note choices that shimmer against the harmony. Adolfo soars into his improvisation with an unstated grace that grabs rhythmic ideas while consistently referencing the composition before the group moves back towards the melody. The lilting melody of “Ana Maria” floats gently over the delicate saudade of the group’s bossa nova backing, as Martins, Galvão, and Adolfo share the theme. There’s a classical flourish alongside rhythmic interest and colorful harmony on Adolfo’s gorgeous solo, leading into a rich combination of Coltrane and Shorter in Martins’ statement. Galvão leaps into his improvisation with a assertive drive, returning to the melody before resolving into an improvisatory exchange of ideas from the full group. A joyful momentum drives the melody to Adolfo’s “Afosamba” forward with a healthy dose of samba rhythm and a tinge of funk. Martins bounces around the lively rhythm section with a rhythmic precision before screaming into his high register and blazing into a bop informed climax, followed by a sparsely accompanied percussion feature. The full band explodes back into the groove for a poignant execution of carefully chosen notes and rhythms from Adolfo, and when the group returns the main theme, Galvão intertwines smart melodic ideas with equal doses of taste and skill. These pieces feel like a natural fit for the album, with the Native Dancer – Wayne Shorter album originally inspired by Brazilian music and Adolfo’s own composition overflowing with an exuberant samba energy.

An Inspired And Informed Reading Of Shorter’s Classic Repertoire
Adolfo creates a heartfelt tribute to Shorter on Hybrido – From Rio to Wayne Shorter that speaks volumes about the pianist’s connection to the legendary saxophonist, improviser, and composer. It would be easy to talk about Hybrido as an exercise in placing Brazilian rhtyhms behind Shorter’s compositions, but this is a much deeper re-contextualization of Shorter’s work. At this point in Adolfo’s evolution as a musician, it’s really more about the way that he hears Shorter’s music. Adolfo speaks the language of Brazilian music; it’s the vehicle that he uses to structure his ideas, it’s not the driving force. Each arrangement is a fluid and natural expression of Shorter’s music as viewed through Adolfo’s perspective. There’s an inviting sophistication to Adolfo’s piano performance throughout the album, as he colors the harmony with an impressionistic flair that sparkles with class and style. Martins leaps out of each track with an enthusiastic embrace of Shorter’s work, while Sadoc and Glavão both make big impressions with their solo work. Helder, Barata, and Siqueira create wonderful textures as a rhythm section, keeping the music firmly rooted in Brazilian styles while being flexible enough to connect with the jazz sensibilities of Shorter’s work. There’s evidence of a beautiful relationship between Adolfo and Shorter on Hybrido – From Rio to Wayne Shorter that culminates in an inspired and informed reading of the saxophonist’s classic repertoire; this is a recording worthy of multiple plays that will inevitably lead listeners to deep relationships with both artists.

Track Listing:
1. Deluge (Wayne Shorter)
2. Footprints (Wayne Shorter)
3. Beauty and the Beast (Wayne Shorter)
4. Prince of Darkness (Wayne Shorter)
5. Black Nile (Wayne Shorter)
6. Speak No Evil (Wayne Shorter)
7. E.S.P. (Wayne Shorter)
8. Ana Maria (Wayne Shorter)
9. Afosamba (Antonio Adolfo)

Musicians:
Antonio Adolfo: piano, electric piano; Lula Galvão: electric guitar; Jessé Sadoc: trumpet; Marcelo Martins: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Serginho Trombone: trombone; Claudio Spiewak: acoustic guitar (3); Jorge Helder: double bass; Rafael Barata: drums, percussion; Andres Siqueira: percussion; Zé Renato: vocals (2)

Check Out More Great LJC Content:
Album Of The Week: Mr. EP – A Tribute To Eddie Palmieri, Charlie Sepulveda & The Turnaround
Album Of The Week: The Art Of Latin Jazz, Oscar Hernández & Alma Libre
Album Of The Week: Tributango, Emilio Solla
Album Of The Week: Backlog, Steve Khan

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