Adriano Santos / Adriano Santos Quintet

In Session

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Drummer Adriano Santos has chosen a very tight and compelling band of jazz performers to play hot Brazilian music stretched out with solos and developed melody lines. Saxophonist David Binney -- who co-produced the date with Santos -- is ever present in tandem with the wondrous pianist Helio Alves. They are the stars that make things happen on this collection of famous tunes penned by Milton Nascimento, Moacir Santos, Airto Moreira, and others. Among the extended tracks is a long version of Airto's famous jam "Xibaba" loaded with bright colors in a 6/8 beat, and the bouncy composition of Victor Assis Brasil's "Pro Zeca," a perfect feature for Binney's alto. The band revisits Nascimento's "From the Lonely Afternoons," introduced to American audiences on Wayne Shorter's pivotal album Native Dancer, here with Binney's soprano in free, breezy, lush samba tones. Steamy and steady beats by the drummer identify many of these pieces, especially the Moacir Santos classic "Amphibious" and "Contemplacao," but the concluding track, "Ninho da Vespa" by Caymmi, ends the date on a punchy note, with a boom box rhythm not heard on the rest of the date. Bassist David Ambrosio expertly keeps the rhythm train rolling along with Adriano Santos, a competent but not spectacular time keeper. In Session suggests this group is more exciting live in concert, but also gives the listener a keen idea where they're coming from, and it's all good.

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