BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento
Label: AAM Music
Fe Cega, Faca Amolada; Nada Sera Como Ante; Outubro; Canção Do Sal; Encontros E Despedidas; Três Pontas; Cais; Caxanga; Tristesse.
Antonio Adolfo’s latest album, BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento, is devoted to the singer-
songwriter who is arguably Brazil’s greatest living composer of popular music. Nascimento’s
songs have been recorded by Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett,
Stan Getz, Bjork, Esperanza Spalding and many other jazz and pop luminaries. It is a project that
Adolfo, himself a formidable composer and renowned keyboardist, had long wanted to take on.
Antonio’s appreciation of Nascimento goes back to the beginning of the latter’s career, when
they met just before the biggest musical event in Brazil in 1967.
It was the Second International Song Festival (FIC) in Rio Janeiro and Brazil’s most talented young composers submitted songs to it in hopes of launching or furthering their careers. Adolfo recalls, “Although he did not take first place, Milton was the great sensation at the festival, with his song ‘Travessia’ (Bridges).” His sound was something different, incorporating regional music from Minas and influences from pop, bossa nova and jazz. He launched a debut album, Milton Nascimento, in Brazil the same year (later reissued as Travessia), which brought him international renown. Three of its tracks are included on BruMa tracks: “Outubro” (October), “Canção do Sal” (Salt Song) and “Três Pontas” (the name of the city in Minas where Nascimento was raised). Adolfo, meanwhile, was finding success with his jazz-bossa instrumental group, Trio 3D, and hitting the top of the charts with songs written with Tibério Gaspar like "Sá Marina" (Pretty World).
Adolfo comments, “For this album, I immersed myself in the music of Milton and his partners. I have been working on this project for six months, panning its rich repertoire and adding my Brazilian jazz vocabulary. After working with more than thirty songs to choose nine, I once again concluded that Milton Nascimento is the most modern and profound composer in Brazil. His compositions broke traditional harmonic and rhythmic patterns, with his modalism and natural rhythmic meters, all in a spontaneous, intuitive and natural way.”
Adolfo interprets the nine Nascimento songs on BruMa with his Brazilian jazz sensibility and an adroit and sensitive touch on the keyboards. Other songs on BruMa include: “Nada Será Como Antes” (Nothing Will Be As It Was) and “Cais” (Wharf) from Clube da Esquina (1971), which made Milton a star in Brazil. “Fé Cega, Faca Amolada” (Blind Faith, Sharp Knife), from the 1975 album Minas, and “Encontros de Despedidas” (Encounters and Farewells), which Milton first recorded live with Hubert Laws in 1985. “Caxangá” is from Milton Nascimento Ao Vivo (1983) and “Tristesse” (Sadness) appeared on Pietá in 2002.
The album title BruMa, which means ‘mist’ in Portuguese, is also intended to bring to mind two environmental disasters that struck Minas Gerais in the last decade. BruMa is comprised of the initial syllables of two cities (Brumadinho and Mariana) that suffered similar tragedies. In 2015 and 2019, earthen dams collapsed and let forth floods of muddy waste materials that devastated the towns, killed hundreds of people and rendered the rivers downstream toxic and lifeless for years to come. Adolfo comments, “Milton and many Brazilians are part of a group effort to ensure that the damage to the territory of Minas Gerais is not forgotten.”
Album uploaded by Michael Ricci