HYBRIDO - from Rio to Wayne Shorter
Brazilian composer-pianist-arranger Antonio Adolfo explains about his latest project which focuses on the music of Wayne Shorter, "The mixing of races and different cultures is irreversible in today's world. In music, this trend has been happening for a long time and has resulted in a very healthy hybridism of different musical genres. …The music of the great Wayne Shorter is predominant in this recording. It has especially inspired me through his melodies and harmonies, which have continued to influence musicians of several generations and continents." Adolfo also notes that Shorter himself has been influenced by the music of different cultures. Focusing primarily on Shorter's repertoire from the 60's, he is joined on this project by Lula Galvão - (electric guitar); Jorge Helder - (double bass); Rafael Barata - (drums and percussion); André Siqueira - (percussion); Jessé Sadoc - (trumpet); Marcelo Martins - (tenor/soprano saxes, flute); Serginho Trombone - (trombone); Claudio Spiewak - (acoustic guitar on #3) and Zé Renato - (vocals on #2).
There is plenty of superb musicianship starting with "Deluge," the only performance on which the leader plays Fender Rhodes piano. It is followed by nicely reimagined "Footprints," with Renato's vocalization joining the horns as the breezy tempoed adaptation has a cleanly articulated solo from Galvão followed by some gruff trombone, piano and a short bass break. "Beauty and the Beast," derives from one of Shorter's mid-seventies collaboration with legendary Brazilian composer, musician and singer Milton Nascimento and the bossa nova flavored rendition here sports not simply a typically sonorous arrangement, but a feathery flute solo from Martins along with Adolfo's lyrical solo with Spiewak chording on acoustic guitar with Martins switching to soprano.
"Prince of Darkness" from Miles Davis "ESP" album is nice reworked with colorful rhythmic accents and soaring, lyrical soprano sax, dancing piano, lithe, scintillating guitar with a sparkling rhythm section. A heated "Black Nile" has an energetic horn ensemble with Martins' brawny tenor sax, and nicely developed solos from Adolfo and Galvão. Brazilian rhythms are incorporated into the rendition of "Speak No Evil" with rousing trombone, focused, vigorous tenor sax, and with the leader's imaginative free-flowing playing. It is followed by Adolfo's deconstruction of "ESP" with Martins spotlighted with his graceful soprano along with some thoughtful, nimble chordal playing from Galvão and Adolfo's choice playing. "Ana Maria," from the collaboration with Nascimento is a lovely Bossa performance with exquisite piano, Martins' soaring, twisting soprano and Galvão's shimmering guitar.
Adolfo's original "Afosamba," provides a lively conclusion with Sadoc's fiery, brash trumpet featured along with dynamic percussive interplay leading to more delightful piano on a composition that displays the influence Shorter has had on Adolfo himself. It concludes a well conceived and performed tribute to one of music's most significant figures for over half a century. With Adolfo's arrangements, the marvelous ensemble playing and the thoughtful, as well as imaginative, solos make for a fascinating, superb recording.
I received my review copy from a publicist.