Clarice Assad – Imaginarium (Adventure Music, 2014)
Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Clarice Assad demonstrates that the Assad family (a well-respected musical family in Brazil) tradition is well represented and in good hands.
On Imaginarium, inspired by birds and flowers, she brings together three musical traditions that are essential to her musical development: classical music, jazz and Brazilian traditional and contemporary music plus Gypsy jazz, opera, Broadway and some additional world music influences. Throughout Imaginarium, Clarice uses a dazzling amount of Brazilian beats and melodies, intertwined with string ensembles and inspired jazz performances.
In addition to the rhythmic, fast-paced songs, Clarice also treats the listener to quiet, more meditative moments, such as the collaboration with the great multi-faceted Brazilian flute maestro Carlos Malta.
Clarice’s vocals are outstanding. She uses various techniques, ranging from conventional vocals to call and response techniques and beautiful overdubs.
The album features an impressive cast of musicians, some of Brazil’s finest, as well as international friends like American mandolin virtuoso Mike Marshall, a great fan of contemporary Brazilian music. Other guests include Argentine vocalist Sofia Rei, who participates in a charming Spanish and Portuguese-language exchange with Clarice; and soprano Melody Moore.
The lineup includes Clarice Assad on vocals, piano, prepared piano, toy piano, programming, celeste, accordion and effects; Ethan Startzman, on electric bass; Keita Ogawa on drums, bird whistles, aquaphone, cymbals, toys; Galen Lemmon on timpani, marimba, vibraphone, large bass drum and tam tam; Dawn Harms on violin; Candace Guirao on violin; Emily Onderdonk on viola; Emil Miland on cello; Miguel Malla on saxophone; Rocky Michaelian on piano; Bernardo Aguiar on pandeiro and effects; Gabriel Policarpo on repique and effects; Carlos Malta on pife and alto flute; Ramonzin on rap vocals; Mike Marshall on mandolin; Claudia Villela on vocals; Arooj Aftab on vocals; Sofia Rei on vocals; Meredith Clark on harp; Patrick McCarthy on acoustic bass; Romero Lubambo on guitar; Marcelo Caldi on accordion; Yasushi Nakamura on acoustic bass; Luciana Souza on vocals; Amy Duxbury on bassoon; Melody Moore on soprano vocals; Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg on violin; Yulia Van Doren on soprano vocals; Melissa Wegner on soprano vocals; Jonathan Kimple on baritone vocals; Patrick McCarthy on acoustic bass; Badi Assad on vocals; Augusto Ordine on human bass; Pedro Araújo on guitar; Carol Panesi on violin; Pedro Aude on acoustic bass; Elis Horcades on child vocals.
Also included, a choir with Celia Maria Vasconcelos da Cunha, Luisa Peclat, Claudia Sarti, Renata Melo, Walgra Maria, Fábio Jabur, Fábio Nogara, João Gabriel Mistura, Zezinho Só, Silvia Ferrante; and Braziolian vocal ensemble Ordinarius: André Miranda, Augusto Ordine, Fernanda Gabriela, Gustavo Campos, Luiza Sales, and Maíra Martins.
Voice Overs on “Revolta das Flores”: Svetlana Gorokhovich (Russian); Hiromi Suda (Japanese); Peiyou Chang (Chinese); Junia Flavia D’Affonseca (Portuguese); Andrea Forderreuther (German); Sofia Rei (Spanish); and Melissa Wegner & Yulia Van Doren (English).
Imaginarium is a masterfully crafted, genre-defying album by one of the young talents in Brazilian music.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.