A Night at the Blue Note, Rio with Antonio Adolfo and Bossa Nova legend Carlos Lyra

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Antonio Adolfo performs at The Blue Note in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Nov. 11. (Photo: Alexandre Moreira)

Although he may look more like a professor or kindly physician, Antonio Adolfo is, in reality, a killer pianist/arranger and master of samba jazz. In early November, the beginning of summer in Brazil, I went to the beautiful new Blue Note in Rio de Janeiro to get my samba fix.  Adolfo led a septet that features some of the finest jazz musicians in Brazil. And then he introduced his guest, one of the great Bossa Nova singer/songwriters, Carlos Lyra. My story in DownBeat.

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Filed under Antonio Adolfo, Bossa Nova, Brazilian music, Carlos Lyra

Brazil’s MIMO Festival Brings the World to Rio de Janeiro

Didier Lockwood Trio at Igreja da Candalaria, Rio

Didier Lockwood Trio at Igreja da Candalaria, Rio (photo by Beto Figueiroa, MIMO Festival)

Last week’s MIMO Festival-Rio was a musical bazaar including MPB (Brazilian pop), Afro-pop, Portuguese pop, jazz, salsa, and unclassifiable music from around the world. And it ended with a samba explosion to make traditional Brazilian music fans smile. Here’s my review in @DownBeatMag.

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Filed under Brazilian music, Criolo, Didier Lockwood, MIMO Festival

“Another Thing (Outra Coisa)” – Anat Cohen w/Marcello Gonçalves

One of the most acclaimed clarinetists in jazz, Israeli-born Anat Cohen has somehow also managed to become one of the world’s foremost practitioners of Brazilian jazz. If you’d like to expand your appreciation of Brazilian music beyond the usual Bossa Novas, dig this hauntingly beautiful video. Then read my profile of her from the July 2017 DownBeat.

Anat and me
With Anat Cohen, May 2017

 

 

 

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Filed under Anat Cohen, Brazilian music, Marcello Goncalves, Moacir Santos

Marsalis, JLCO Pay Tribute to Jelly Roll Morton

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Pianists Sullivan Fortner (above), Aaron Diehl, Dan Nimmer, and two excellent student pianists from Julliard (Micah Thomas and Joel Wenhardt) rocked the “House of Swing” in “The Fantastic Mr. Jelly Lord,” the JLCO season opener at Jazz at Lincoln Center last weekend.  My review in DownBeat.

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Filed under Aaron Diehl, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jelly Roll Morton, JLCO, Sullivan Fortner, Wynton Marsalis

Coming soon – my profile of Wynton Marsalis

Photographer: Luigi Beverelli

Today I had the privilege of sitting down with Wynton Marsalis in his dressing room at Jazz at Lincoln Center for a DownBeat interview, five years after our first meeting. We talked about his career, his evolution as a musician and a human being, his hopes for the future.  Article coming soon.

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Filed under Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wynton Marsalis

2017 Newport Jazz Festival Highlights Soloists and Teamwork – my review in DownBeat.

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The 2017 Newport Jazz Festival was, as usual, a showcase and a proving ground for great soloists.  Here’s my recap, concentrating on a few of the finest performances I heard, including those of vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant (above) who performed with the Aaron Diehl Trio; the Maria Schneider Orchestra; the Benny Golson Quartet; and the Christian McBride Big Band.

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Filed under Aaron Diehl, Allen Morrison, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian McBride, Maria Schneider, Mike LeDonne, Newport Jazz Festival, Paul Sikivie, Steve Davis

27-year-old NYC jazz singer-songwriter Allegra Levy swings on new album “Cities Between Us”

IMG_0435.JPGIt’s not that Allegra Levy is necessarily an intrepid traveler or impulsive risk-taker. After all, the opening track on the 27-year-old New York jazz vocalist’s first album  was an ode to worry and indecision entitled “Anxiety.” But when an email from a stranger appeared in her inbox one morning, it wasn’t long before she was on a plane to Hong Kong.  She talked about her adventure and her second album with me for a DownBeat “Players” profile in the June issue.

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Filed under Allegra Levy