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New album from Antonio Adolfo

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    Posted: 14 Aug 2022 at 8:22pm
Coming August 12, 2022 on AAM Music

With over two dozen albums as a leader and multiple Latin Grammy and Grammy nominations, pianist, arranger, composer, and bandleader ANTONIO ADOLFO is an internationally recognized Latin jazz star. More than 200 of his original compositions have been covered by artists like Sergio Mendes, Earl Klugh, Herb Alpert, Stevie Wonder, and Dionne Warwick. Several of his albums pay tribute to great Brazilian and American jazz stars, like Antonio Carlos Jobim (Jobim Forever, 2021), Milton Nascimento (BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento, 2020), Wayne Shorter (Hybrido: From Rio to Wayne Shorter, 2017and Ernesto Nazareth (Antonio Adolfo Abraça Ernesto Nazareth, 1981), among others.
Although he often includes his own compositions on his recordings, Adolfo has now recorded an album that comprises only his original music. OCTET AND ORIGINALS is a brilliant showcase for the writing talents of an artist about whom jazz critic Travis Rogers has said, “Let me say it from the top, I can't get enough of Antonio Adolfo. Every album, every song he has ever released is a treasure. Not only is Antonio a brilliant composer and pianist, he is also an arranger without peer.” Although several of the compositions have appeared on other Adolfo recordings, he has reimagined them for this new project.
Adolfo called the album OCTET AND ORIGINALS to highlight not only his compositions but also the stellar band. Adolfo says, “There is nothing better than being able to count on a group of wonderful musicians who have recorded with me on my most recent projects. They are all excellent, and I also dedicate this work to them.” The band features JESSÉ SADOC (trumpet and flugelhorn), DANILO SINNA (alto sax), MARCELO MARTINS (tenor sax and flute), RAFAEL ROCHA (trombone), JORGE HELDER (double bass), RAFAEL BARATA (drums and percussion), and RICARDO SILVEIRA (guitar). 
A few of the tunes on OCTET AND ORIGINALS were originally conceived with lyrics; however, Adolfo rearranged them as instrumentals for this album. His arrangements touch on a panoply of Brazilian musical styles, including samba, baiao, bossa, partido alto, quadrilha, toada, calango, maracatu and more. Although rooted in Brazilian music, Adolfo’s elegant reharmonizations transform his compositions into jazz.
“Heart of Brazil” is a tribute to the Amazon rainforest, which is suffering from severe deforestation due to uncurbed expansion of ranching and unsustainable farming practices. The song was sung by Dionne Warwick with lyrics by Nelson Wellington and Marietta Watters. It was written in a style called partido alto, a type of samba.
“Boogie Baião” combines American boogie with a modal style from Northeastern Brazil called baião. “Emaú” is a word invented by Adolfo to capture the sonic feel of the song. Based on the quadrilha, it is a style of collective folk dance that is very popular in Brazil. The quadrilha rhythm is characterized by the accent on the upbeat, which Adolfo captures on the drums and bass in the intro.
“Cascavel” features a mix of styles, maracatu, calango, sambão. Adolfo originally recorded it in 1979. “Pretty World” is an international hit recorded by Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert, Earl Klugh, and others. The original lyrics were written by Tiberio Gaspar, but Sergio Mendes commissioned Alan and Marilyn Bergman to write English lyrics and recorded the song in 1969 with his group Brazil 66.
“Teletema,” a romantic jazz waltz, was a hit in Brazil in the 1970s. Adolfo composed the tune, with lyrics by Tiberio Gaspar, for a TV series. “Feito Em Casa” (‘homemade’) is the title of Adolfo’s 1977 album. He recorded the tune in Brazil after returning from several months in Europe, where he had the opportunity to study with Nadia Boulanger, one of the most influential teachers of musical composition of the 20th century. The composition brings together two styles, baião and samba, with a groovy final section.
As the title implies, “Minor Chord” is composed of minor chords with roots that change throughout the song, creating a great vehicle for improvisation. The introduction features a beat that used to be called the New Bossa style. The title “Zabumbaia” is a combination of zabumba, which is the typical percussion instrument found in the music of the Brazilian northeastern countryside, and “baia,” which is an abbreviation of baião, the predominant musical style in the Northeast of Brazil. A toada is a romantic and slower-paced song derived from the Baião region. Adolfo was inspired to write “Modern Toada” in the 1960s after listening to Bill Evans, one of Adolfo’s heroes.
Antonio Adolfo is a Brazilian jazz master. Influenced by bebop, soul and West Coast jazz yet firmly rooted in the rhythmic, danceable styles of Brazil, Adolfo’s music has a polished opulence that is uniquely his own. The music on OCTET AND ORIGINALS is romantic, swinging, and toe-tapping with frequent unexpected turns that consistently keep the music fresh.
About Antonio Adolfo
Adolfo is a pianist, arranger, composer, and bandleader. He has released more than 25 albums as a leader, including a few with his daughter, vocalist Carol Saboya. He has been nominated for several Latin Jazz Grammy Awards, including Rio, Choro, Jazz (2014), his solo outing O Piano de Antonio Adolfo (also 2014), Tema (2015), which featured all original music, Tropical Infinito (2016), BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento (2020) and Hybrido – From Rio to Wayne Shorter, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2017 and a Grammy in 2018. More than 200 of his original compositions have been recorded by major artists like Sergio Mendes, Earl Klugh, Herb Alpert, Stevie Wonder, and Dionne Warwick, among many others. Besides working with some of the most iconic names in Brazilian music, Adolfo is also an educator, teaching music, especially Brazilian music, throughout the world. In 1985, he created his own school in Rio, which has more than 1,300 students. Adolfo has also written a dozen books on piano playing, harmony and Brazilian music. 
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OCTET AND ORIGINALS will be available August 12, 2022 at www.aammusic.com and online everywhere.
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