Adriano Adewale: Comboio




Adriano Adewale (tarol, vocals)


Sementes (Segue Records SECCD0801)

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Adriano Adewale (tarol, vocals),

Kadialy Koutayate (vocals), Marcelo Andrade (sax), Nathan Thomson (alto flute), Gilad Atzmon (clarinet)


Composed by Adriano Adewale


Recorded: London, England, January 2008


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

I admit I have to get used to some of the vocals that appear on Sementes. So far I can't quite get my ears around them. It isn't because they are not good. I just don't know whether they are or not because I have no frame of reference. In the end I have to figure that out on my own. In the meantime, there are vocals on "Comboio." But they are treated more as rhythm than as melody. That makes it easier for me.

Composer and percussionist Adriano plays the tarol, a Brazilian snare drum that is shallower than a traditional snare drum. It is lightweight and often worn over the shoulder. According to tradition it helps guide the overall percussion in a band by its constant "rolling." Adewale certainly does a lot of rolling on this piece.

This jazz is a mix of cultures. There are the African sounds of Nigeria and Angola. The South American sounds of Brazil are tangible. There is some European flavor. I even hear Klezmer. The music also has a classical feel to it sometimes evoking Leonard Bernstein and his West Side Story era. "Comboio" means convoy or to escort in Portuguese. So I need to add another cultural influence to my list.

The beat is the key ingredient to the success of this song. But the happily innocent melody is a strong supporter. A propulsive rhythm, played solely on the tarol, introduces the cut. We are exuberant. Soon a more jungle-like atmosphere envelops us. We are a bit worried as clarinets and flutes are heard in the distance. We don't know where we are. A repeating voice is heard. At first the repetition is quiet and slow. Soon it becomes faster, louder and more urgent. The tension builds until released in the joyful reprise of the song's main theme. All's well that ends well.

This was an interesting listen. Perhaps it will help me create my own frame of reference so I can go back and dig the rest of the music.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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