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Antonio Adolfo: Rio, Choro, Jazz…

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Antonio Adolfo: Rio, Choro, Jazz…
2014: Antonio Adolfo Music

Antonio Adolfo on Piano
Claudio Spiewak on Guitars
Marcelo Martins on Soprano Sax and Flute
Jorge Helder on Double Bass
Rafael Barata on Drums and Percussion
Marcos Suzano on Percussion


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
July 23, 2014

Read a review of the CD release event at Michiko Stage Room.

All compositions by Ernesto Nazareth, except #1.

This CD is a study of Choro, considered the first Brazilian musical style. The elements of Choro include early influences of ragtime, polka, and mazurka, even a form of Brazilian tango. Almost all the compositions are by Ernesto Nazareth (1863-1934). Antonio Adolfo has arranged Nazareth’s music in combination with his own Brazilian jazz. A review with photos of Antonio Adolfo, pianist, who’s also a composer, is linked above. The band on this recording includes Rafael Barata on drums, who’s also seen at the release event. Other musicians introduced on the recording are Claudio Spiewak on guitars, Jorge Helder on double bass, Marcelo Martins on flute and soprano sax, and Marcos Suzano on percussion. Throughout the ten tracks, the music is engaging, filled with danceable rhythms, fascinating for its unique arrangements, and altogether original. I chose four Nazareth compositions, arranged by Antonio Adolfo, as his Rio, Choro, Jazz… is reviewed on the event link above. All four tracks below were new to me, none heard during the live release event.

Notable tracks:

#2 – Feitiço – This piece begins with plaintive piano, before percussion softly blends in to beckon guitar, flute, bass, and drums. Marcelo Martins’ flute was lyrical and lively, with a trip to Rio in the listener’s imagination. The percussive backup was exuberant, with Rafael Barata’s drums hitting just the right beats for south of the border effect.

#7 – Coração Que Sente – Marcos Suzano was featured here on Latin percussion, extremely exotic and hushed. Fused with Antonio Adolfo’s warm piano, I became quite interested in Choro and Nazareth, as the mood was so intriguing. A light flute melody was breathy and breezy, while Jorge Helder’s bass took on a deep, contrasting, fragmented theme. This is a recording for frequent listening.

#8 – Cuéra – This track is a spellbinding mélange of jazz, samba, and I even heard a foxtrot rhythm. There are solos for Claudio Spiewak on guitar, plus solos for bass, flute, and piano. Antonio Adolfo creates a mood of Rio at midnight, with these ambient, captivating tunes. Changing rhythms are seamless, with instrumental interludes transporting the listener and enhancing the moment.

#10 – Odeon – This very danceable track is imbued with rapid samba refrains, swirling like a waltz. Antonio Adolfo leads the tantalizing piano theme, but he gives the flute magical moments in the spotlight. The recording ends on very upbeat, rich musicality, with verve and vivacity.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at