A true musical citizen of the world, acoustic and electric guitar virtuoso Albert Dadon (aka “Albare”) was born in Morocco, grew up in Israel and France (where he launched his musical career) and has lived for decades in Australia, where, among other things, he became a pioneer of acid jazz, became chairman of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and launched a popular jazz club.
In his colorful liner notes to the intricately played, sonically expansive Albare Plays Jobim, Vol. 2 – follow-up to his popular first volume of re-imaginings by the master Brazilian composer, released in 2020 – the guitarist whimsically shares how a tinge of nostalgia and romance for his earlier years brought him back in middle age to his early love of Jobim.
Building a beautiful and stylish narrative, the 11-track set features fresh, stylistically and rhythmically eclectic twists on tunes we know by heart - a lushly atmospheric and dreamy “Girl from Ipanema,” a graceful, contemplative “Dindi, a spritely and romantic, orchestra-tinged jaunt celebrating “Summer Samba” – and others (“So Danco Samba,” “Once I Loved,” “Meditation”) that are less familiar but equally inviting to experience.
While Albare’s playing is so soulful and compelling that we surely wouldn’t mind an album of solos (maybe someday), the rich production textures – produced by Albare and pianist Phil Turcio, his longtime collaborator and partner in the smooth jazz outfit Urbanity – are sweetly reminiscent of how the original versions of these songs were recorded – and reflective of what Albare heard when he first encountered Jobim’s music watching Marcel Camus’ cult film “Orpheus Negro” in the early 70’s.
Adding passion, excitement and sparkling magic to the mix are guests artists Nestor Torres (flute), Randy Brecker (flugelhorn) and Antonio Sanchez (drums).