He Gets it Right – Again!
Whether as an arranger, a producer of special projects or a solo recording artist, Mario Adnet has released or been involved in a few dozen albums. If you have not yet discovered his music, chances are you must have been out of touch with reality or in some unbelievable interplanetary trip. Mario’s music has been consistently among the very best in Brazilian music. Ever since his first album in 1979 (Alberto Rosenblit & Mario Adnet), there has been one constant in his music: he gets it right all the time, no exceptions! As a consumer, you cannot go wrong if you take home any of Mario’s albums.
O Samba Vai adds more laurels to Mario Adnet’s vast accomplishments. Produced by Mario, Joana and Antonia Adnet, and with Mario’s arrangements, the album is a collection of originals with emphasis on sambas and bossas as well as some other genres. With 10 songs co-written by Mario and his collaborators, O Samba Vai is a delightful recording. There are only two tracks from other songwriters: the first is “Céu e Mar,” by Johnny Alf (1929 – 2010), a well-deserving tribute to one of our greatest songwriters; and the other is “Luar do Meu Bem,” a seldom recorded Cláudio Santoro and Vinícius de Moraes song written in 1957 when the songwriters were living in Paris.
As with previous Mario’s albums, he is always surrounded by some of the best of Brazilian musicians. Rodrigo Campello (cavaquinho), Marcos Nimrichter (piano), Jorge Helder (bass), Rafael Barata (drums), Armando Marçal (percussion), Eduardo Neves (sax, flutes), Nailor Proveta (clarinet), Jessé Sadoc (trumpet) and Vittor Santos (trombone) are just a few of those featured in O Samba Vai. Then we have the heavyweight guest appearances of João Donato (piano) and vocals by Pedro Miranda, Mônica Salmaso, Antonia Adnet, Muiza Adnet and Joyce Moreno!
João Donato is featured twice: first in “Domingo de Verão” — one of those Donato boleros — and then in “Um Samba na Madrugada.” The unmistakable Donato swing is precious and intoxicating in both tracks. The Pedro Miranda guest vocal in “Fred Astaire do Samba” is a winner. The very first time I heard the track, I was singing along in the chorus. This samba has a Noel Rosa feel to it and is an instant hit. The lyrics also have that Dorival Caymmi connection with “O Samba da Minha Terra.” The brass arrangement is another major highlight in this track. Saxes, trumpet and trombone are gorgeous and rich. As for the lyrics, these verses sum up the samba feel:
Tem tanta mulher bonita
Que gosta de homem feio
Não se muda a natureza
Tem sempre o caminho do meio
Eu sou que nem Fred Astaire
Sei conduzir a mulher
Não sou padrão de beleza
Mas tenho samba no pé.
There are so many beautiful women
Who like ugly men
One can’t change nature
There is always a middle ground
I am like Fred Astaire
I know how to handle women
I am no beauty standard
But I have samba on my feet.
And then there’s the accent when saying the name Astaire. Ah, what a delightful samba!
The title track, “O Samba Vai,” had been previously recorded instrumentally by Mario in his 2006 From the Heart album. It was the title track there, too. For this vocal rendition, lyrics were written by none other than Paulo César Pinheiro, who also co-wrote three more songs in this CD. Paulo is a prolific and excellent poet, and having him contribute songs to O Samba Vai only elevates the quality of such a good release. The French-Portuguese lyrics in Lisa Ono/Mario Adnet’s “À Toi” is yet another captivating track. Antonia and Mario Adnet deliver a very romantic duet in this bossa. Also I must mention Jessé Sadoc’s flugelhorn solo in this track. It’s evocative of the late Márcio Montarroyo’s sound.
O Samba Vai brings Mario back to his composer roots. Busy with multiple projects, he had not released an album with original tracks since his 2006 From the Heart CD. What a terrific return this is!
O Samba Vai
Biscoito Fino BF 336 (2010)
- Sem Tirar nem Pôr (Mario Adnet – João Cavalcanti)
- Domingo de Verão (João Donato – Mario Adnet – Bernardo Vilhena)
- Fred Astaire no Samba (Mario Adnet – Chico Adnet)
- Dilema (Mario Adnet – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- O Samba Vai (Mario Adnet – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- À Toi (Lisa Ono – Mario Adnet)
- Céu e Mar (Johnny Alf)
- Luar do Meu Bem (Cláudio Santoro – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Dois Orfeus (Mario Adnet – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Fazer Samba pra Você (Mario Adnet – Joyce Moreno)
- Um Samba na Madrugada (Mario Adnet – João Donato – Bernardo Vilhena)
- Valsa Exaltação (Mario Adnet – Paulo César Pinheiro)