Antônio Adolfo: Piano, Piano Elétrico, Arranjos
Luiz Cláudio Ramos: Guitarras
Luizão Maia: Baixo
Paulo Braga: Bateria
Luiz Keller: Vocais
This record starts out mellow, low-key.. fairly normal, laid-back MPB for 1970. But by the time you make your way a few cuts in, on the track “Tribute to Victor Manga,” you realize this is an extraordinary album. With vocals that are often in tension with the lush and careful arrangements, with a lot melodic interplay, and with sharp, crisp and always-interesting production, and anchored in the tight rhythm-section of Luizão Maia and Paulo Braga, this is one of the best put-together Brazilian albums of 1970. This is no accident, as Adolfo is probably most famous as an arranger, although for those of us who compulsively read writing credits will have noticed his name cropping up on records by the likes of Toni Tornado (his biggest hit, “B.R. 3”, was penned by Adolfo), Wilson Simonal, and even Elis Regina. On this album, tracks like “Que se dane” with its sarcastic lyrics and funky-as-hell Wurlitzer sounds give way to even stranger pieces like ‘Atenção, atenção!” and the barbs of ‘Transamazonica’. Some very groovy female vocals all over this too. Adolfo would make more ‘respectable’ music of a jazz variety in the later seventies, and these days he runs his own music school and still puts out records every now and again.
The Rhodes electric piano on this album is off the hook. And as Simon says, there is never enough Rhodes in the world..
Dusty Groove says
A lost treasure from Antiono Adolfo — keyboard player, arranger, and one of the greatest Brazilian talents of his generation! Adolfo’s sound and style is contemporaneous with the best work of Marcos Valle, Edu Lobo, and others — and like them, he has an approach that mixes together jazz, MPB, baroque orchestrations, easy scoring, and a bit of funk — similar to the best work of the Blue Brazil generation on EMI/Odeon Records. The approach is one that’s rarely been matched by any other artist — and it’s a strong reason why Adolfo’s records from this period are extremely sought after in the world of collectors. This beautiful album from 1970 has Adolfo working with the group A Brazuca — who bring some wonderful vocal harmonies to the set, mixing with strings, guitars, and some great electric piano work from Adolfo. Includes the breezy classic “Transamazonica”, plus the cuts “Que Se Dane”, “Atencao Atencao”, “Claudia”, “Panorama”, “Tributo A Victor Manga”, “Caminhada”, “Grilopus No 1”, and “Cotidiano”.
Adolfo’s bio in English from his own page:
Antonio Adolfo is an important composer, having written songs recorded by Nara Leao, Marisa Gata Mansa, Angela Ro Ro, Wilson Simonal, Ivete Sangalo, Leci Brandao, Emilio Santiago, Beth Carvalho, Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, Stevie Wonder and Herb Alpert among others. Adolfo also had a noted role in the process of making important music available through independent production, through the creation of the pioneer independent label Artezanal. His recordings of important and almost-forgotten composers of the belle epoque, like Chiquinha Gonzaga, Ernesto Nazareth and Joao Pernambuco, are noted cultural initiatives. As an arranger, he worked for Leci Brandao, Angela Ro Ro, Elizeth Cardoso, Emilio Santiago, Fatima Guedes, Marcos Valle, Mongol, Nara Leao, O Grupo, Ruy Maurity (his brother), Sueli Costa, Vinicius Cantuaria, Rita Lee, Zeze Motta, and others.
The son of Yolanda Maurity, a music teacher and violinist of the orchestra of the Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Adolfo began to study music very early. At seven, he began his violin studies with Paulina D’Ambrozzio. At 15, he took up piano, studying with Amyrton Vallim and with the internationally renowned Eumir Deodato. In 1963, he joined the group Samba Cinco, which performed in the famous Beco das Garrafas on Rio’s 52nd street. In 1964 Adolfo was invited by Carlos Lyra and Vinicius de Moraes to be a musician for their play Pobre Menina Rica (at Teatro de Bolso), beginning to accompany important names of MPB. Adolfo formed the group 3-D for that gig, and continued to perform with it until 1968, having recorded four LPs. In that year, he became acquainted with Tiberio Gaspar, with whom he wrote important songs such as “Juliana,” “Sa Marina,” “Teletema,” and “BR-3.” “Caminhada” made it to the finals of the II FIC (Rio’s International Song Contest), 1967. The next year, Wilson Simonal recorded “Sa Marina” with success. In that year “Visao” was included in the III FIC. In 1969 Adolfo accompanied Elis Regina in her tour through Europe. Back to Brazil in the same year, he wrote music for soap operas and participated in the IV FIC (1969) with “Juliana” (written with Tiberio). The song was defended by Adolfo’s group A Brazuca, and took second place. With that group he toured Brazil and Peru, recording two albums through Odeon. In 1970, “Teletema” (with Tiberio) took second place in an International Festival (Song Olympiad) in Athens, Greece, in Evinha’s interpretation, which achieved popular success also in Brazil. “BR-3” won the national phase of the V FIC, in Toni Tornado’s interpretation. In 1971 Adolfo moved to the U.S.. In 1972 he returned to Brazil, beginning to write alone, and recording Antonio Adolfo (Philips). In that year he studied with David Baker at Indiana University. Adolfo was a member of the band that backed Elis Regina in two European tours, finding time in between for a stint with the classical Nadia Boulanger, having studied also with Guerra Peixe and Esther Scliar. Back in Brazil, he developed his career as pianist, arranger, and producer. But even more deserving of attention is his work as a pioneer in the independent production field, which awakened artists and public to the necessity of opening alternative routes to non-commercial productions. In 1977 he launched his independent label Artezanal with the album Feito em Casa, with only originals. Encontro Musical, released in the same year, brought again originals and only one song, “Sa Marina,” written together with Tiberio. The album had the participation of Joyce and Erasmo Carlos. Viralata (1979) had mainly originals, and Continuidade had special guests. The albums were propelled by shows throughout Brazil, together with artists like Tiao Neto, Vitor Assis Brasil, Carmelia Alves, Oswaldinho do Acordeom, Alaide Costa, Sidney Miller, Walter Queiroz, and Danilo Caymmi, among others. In 1984 Adolfo released through the label Funarte a tribute album dedicated to the compositions of Joao Pernambuco, with participation of No em Pingo D’agua. In 1985 he paid tribute to Chiquinha Gonzaga, a seminal Brazilian female conductor, pianist, and composer, interpreting her songs in Viva Chiquinha Gonzaga, with participation of Nilson Chaves and Vital Lima. The album Os Pianeiros is dedicated to belle epoque piano composers. In the same year he participated in the first Carioca experience of teaching popular music/jazz in the Centro Calouste Gulbenkian, together with Pascoal Meirelles, Helio Delmiro, Ary Piassarollo, Paulo Russo, and others. Seeing the potential of the sector, he opened his Centro Musical Antonio Adolfo, also developing workshops in the U.S. and Europe. Adolfo published music education material in Brazil and abroad, including the video Secrets of Brazilian Music and two books with companion CD Brazilian Music Workshop (1996) and Phrasing In Brazilian Music (2007), both published by Advance Music, together with seven other books through Lumiar publishing (Brazil). In 1996 he received the Premio Sharp award for his instrumental composition “Cristalina,” from his album Cristalino (1993). In 1997 released Chiquinha com Jazz (Artezanal), which also was awarded the Premio Sharp, and so was the album Antonio Adolfo. Since then Adolfo released the CDs Puro Improviso, Viralata, Feito em Casa, Os Pianeiros, Carnaval Piano Blues and Anatonio Adolfo & Carol Saboya Ao vivo/Live, this one was released both in Brasil and in the US.