Sunday, October 11, 2009

In review--Brazilian gods are watching!

Mario Adnet & Philippe Baden Powell
Afro Samba Jazz
The Music of Baden Powell
Adventure Music

I spent two weeks listening to Brazilian guitarists Mario Adnet and Philippe Baden Powell’s Afro Samba Jazz and I am still savoring every minute of it. Similar to Virginia Rodrigues’ Mares Profundos (Edge Music, 2003), Adnet’s and Powell’s interpretations celebrate the much revered Baden Powell Afro-sambas. A bus load of musicians appear on the recording including Monica Salmaso, the Adnet clan, Teco Cardosa and too many musicians to name here. They bring their horns, drums, flutes, clarinets, saxophones, guitars and double bass, reminding me of carnival season 6 months premature.

On first listen I experienced a memory of hearing Astrud Gilberto’s interpretation of Berimbau on a great hits album I once owned. Then of course, in 2003 I listened to Virginia Rodrigues’ Celso Fonseca’s covers of Baden Powell’s Afro-Samba classics. The sambas engage listeners with lush African polyrhythms, catchy melodic phrases and beautiful odes to a pantheon of Yoruba gods. From the gorgeous Brazilian masterpieces Song for Xango and Song for Yemanja to the haunting Lamento de Ex├╣, Philippe Baden Powell and company pay tribute to his famous composer/guitarist father.

Powell junior, teamed up with Mario Adet, a musician respected by his father. In the liner notes, Powell reminisces about how he met Adnet. “’He’s the man!’ was how my father referred to Mario Adnet after being interviewed by him for a newspaper article. Baden was impressed and excited that he had found someone to ‘shoot the breeze’…” This meeting of minds eventually led to this collaboration with some of the greatest Afro-samba musicians of Brazil--tender, respectful and masterful.

I could say more about this fabulous recording, but I just can’t get my mind around it. The music invites me to dance and not be crunched over my laptop. I invite you to pick up this recording and feel it for yourself. As far as healing qualities, sambas rate high with a lot of the experts such as Don Campbell for one. It’s music for chilling, but it won’t sing you to sleep at night. Though sambas act as a great pick me up in the morning or midday when brains begin to fog and spirits sag. Sure, why not? Couldn’t it be carnival season every day? And did I forget to mention that sambas possess sensuality and certainly Afro-sambas compete for the sexiest music on the planet. Argentine tango move over...

Adventure Music

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