Adolfo_span3
March 2008

Antonio Adolfo & Carol Saboya
Ao Vivo
Points South

To experience live, multi-generational Brazilian jazz at its finest, look no further than this 2005 triumph, a glorious testament to impeccable talent and taste, recorded at the University of Miami by composer/pianist/arranger Antonio Adolfo and his vocalist daughter, Carol Saboya. Determined to keep the evening fresh and spontaneous, Adolfo, whose multi-decade résumé includes landmark work with Milton Nascimento, Maria Bethania and, most notably, Elis Regina, rehearsed only twice with Saboya and accompanists Claudio Spiewak (acoustic and electric guitar), Gabriel Vivas (bass) and Carlomagno Araya (drums).

He opens with an improvised medley, astonishing in its gentle grandeur, which combines Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with “Aquarela do Brasil” and “Garota de Ipanema,” then turns up the heat for a perfectly brewed “Você e Eu.” Next, Saboya tiptoes in with a softly swingin’ “Fotografia.” Except for a gorgeously tender, instrumental blending of “Carinhoso” and “Bambino – Você Me Dá” and a singularly magnificent “In Sensatez,” she is on hand for the balance of the album, demonstrating her exceptional versatility on an a cappella reading of Jobim’s “Passarim” (which melds into his lilting bossa waltz “Chovendo Na Roseira”), the infectiously sunny “Sa Marina” (better known, especially among Sergio Mendes fans, as “Pretty World”) and the arrangement of “Wave” that her father originally wrote for Regina. Apart, perhaps, from Saboya’s enthusiastic but misguided decision to encourage a brief scat-along session with the audience, this is an album of consistent, and consistently imaginative, brilliance—nearly 51 unadulterated minutes of pure, natural beauty.

Originally published in March 2008
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