• Jonathan Widran

ANTONIO ADOLFO, Jobim Forever

An exquisitely and imaginatively arranged – not to mention high spirited and vibrantly swinging – tribute that could whimsically be called “A musical tale of two Antonios,” Antonio Adolfo’s Jobim Forever collection is the pianist’s third recent project to discover fresh magic in the Bossa Nova music that has defined and driven his musical life since 1963, when he joined Samba Cinco, which played the famous Beco das Garrafas in Rio.

Preceding BruMa, Celebrating Milton Nascimento (2020), he actually offered a glimpse of what a full-blown re-imagiged Jobim romp could be with his elegant, soulful twist on “Corcovado,” which wrapped his 2019 set Samba Jazz Alley. Artfully ensembling with the same Brazilian “dream team” (his words) who populated those lively and innovative earlier sessions, Adolfo breathes fresh melodic, harmonic and rhythmic excitement into tunes we’ve heard so many times by others that it’s easy to take them for granted like we’ve already heard the definitive version somewhere over the past 50 years.



Transcending that limited mindset from the get go, Adolfo is both tasteful and adventurous throughout as he applies is passion and own unique mastery to the works of the maestro - ensuring along the way, to appropriate the title, that these compositions will continue their eternal life.


He and his crew have a blast sashaying his sultry, steamy and intoxicating way (with an ever rising horn section) through THE Jobim chestnuts (“The Girl From Ipanema,” “Wave,” “Agua De Beber”) while also shining sexy, easy grooving and ever dazzling light on somewhat lesser known gems like the soaring “A Felicidad” (the tune from "Black Orpheus" which changed 12 year old Adolfo’s life in 1959) and “Favela (O Morro Nao Tem Vez”, both of which feature blistering trumpet solos by Jesse Sadoc.


While many of the pieces amp up into full on jam mode at some point, others like “How Insensitive,” “Inutil Paisagem” and “Amparo” retain the original subtle heartfelt charms that endeared them to multiple generations.