Review: First released in 1979 during the heyday of Brazil's jazz-funk movement, Antonio Adolfo's Viralata has long been considered an era-defining release by those who know. Given that original Brazilian copies are frustratingly hard to come by, this official reissue from Far Out Recordings - who previously worked with Adolfo on his 2007 set Destiny - should be an essential purchase for all those who dig Brazilian music. A little more jazz-focused than albums by contemporaries such as Azymuth, much of "Viralata" is slick, polished and incredibly well produced, with notable samba influences amongst the unashamed tributes to leading American artists. As you'd perhaps expect, the musicianship is astonishing.
Review: To many this is where Brazilian jazz truly began: 1966, the legendary saxophonist and composer Victor Assis Brasil laid down his debut album at just 21. Still as smoky and sentimental as it was 50 years ago (but sadder knowing his life was cut short by a rare disease just 15 years later), the playful sense of space, rhythm and technique displayed (and a slight freedom from the US and European sounds of the time due to him living in Brazil) are delivered with a rawness, clarity and sense of fun such as the R&B double bass backdrop of "Simplesmente" or the cat and mouse style counterplay between the horns on "Dueto". A touching and ultimately timeless piece of jazz history.