Jazz With an Accent: CD Reviews

By Fernando Gonzalez

Catching up with some interesting/mind-expanding/beautiful/provocative (and by now not so) new releases

Mario Adnet

More Jobim Jazz  (Adventure Music)

Brazilian guitarist Mario Adnet’s exquisite follow up to Jobim Jazz (Adventure Music, 2007) not only pays tribute to Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, but also composer and arranger Moacir Santos (whom Adnet and saxophonist Ze Nogueira celebrated in the terrific Ouro Negro) and, obliquely, to Gerry Mulligan who, as it turns out, was a great influence for a generation of Brazilian jazz musicians.

In fact, in a nod to Mulligan and Santos’ ensemble of choice, Adnet utilizes variations of Mulligan’s Tentet (originally bass, drums and eight winds) throughout the recording. The writing is smart, full of detail, and in places will, undoubtedly, evoke Santos’s sound (check “Takatanga,” or the opening of “O Homem”). And while Adnet intelligently stays away from the most obvious material (as he did in Jobim Jazz), he doesn’t entirely shy away from Jobim’s evergreens such as “Bonita,” “Wave,” and “Samba do Aviao” while finding something to say in his own voice, an achievement in itself.

Dori Caymmi

Poesia Musicada  (Music Taste)

It seems hard enough to find the words or the gestures to pay tribute to one’s late father. But if you are a singer and songwriter and your father happens to be one of the greatest composers in your country’s history, things can get mighty difficult. Which makes Poesia Musicada (Poetry to Music) — the tribute by Brazilian singer, guitarist and songwriter Dori Caymmi to the memory of his father, the great Dorival Caymmi, one of the foremost composers of Brazilian popular music, who died in 2008 — all the more touching and impressive.

The 13 songs here, all by Dori Caymmi and his long time writing partner, lyricist and poet Paulo Cesar Pinheiro, evoke elegantly and soulfully the themes, the moods, and the landscapes of Bahia, the northeastern state in Brazil on the Atlantic coast that was Dorival’s birthplace and a profound source of inspiration for his music.  The titles alone – “Velho do Mar,” “ Canto Praieiro,”  “Dona Iemanja,” – with their references to sea, the beach, and the characters that populate them, are a clear enough indication. But then, tracks such as the opening “Marinheiragem,” about lovers on a moonlit beach, or “Rede,” a jewel of a love song framed in sea imagery, could’ve been by the master himself.

Most of the songs feature Dori Caymmi singing, accompanying himself on guitar, but the arranging in the disc also includes, at different times, subtle uses of cavaquinho (a small four string, ukelele-like guitar), accordion, flutes and strings.  Caymmi has a deep, warm voice and an understated, almost conversational, delivery that draws the listener in, perfect for this deeply personal, and poetic, tribute.

To read other reviews and posts by Fernando Gonzalez, click HERE.

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