Last year, Antonio Adolfo's 'Tema' was an alternative to actually traveling to Rio de Janeiro and soaking up Brazilian samba. This year, his 'Tropical Infinito' (AAM Music), with his new octet, pinpoints an early 1960s samba groove revitalized and reimagined but keeping the essential DNA that makes this music so earthy, swaying, satisfying and sensual.
Russian trumpeter Valery Ponomarev debuts his Jazz Big Band on a tribute to his mentor, 'Our Father Who Art Blakey' (Zoho Music). So many great jazz men came through the ranks of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The drummer practically led a finishing school for future stars from 1947 to 1990, just weeks before he died of lung cancer.