Clarice Assad: Imaginarium

One listen to this release by Clarice Assad, and you’ll be dizzied by not only the prowess of this multi-talented artist, but by the variety as well. She sings, arranges, composes and plays the piano here on this collection of eleven varied and variegated pieces which include strings, horns, guitars and more moods than a Greek coffee shop. Vocally, she clearly enunciates on even the most fiendishly intricate pieces as on the dramatically driving “De Perna Pro Ar”, even including a bit of hit hop. Likewise,  on the Lloyd Weberish “Why?” she sounds like a Broadway diva with vocalists Jonathan Kimple, Yulia Van Doren and Melissa Wagner.  Motifs and environments range from anthematic and cheerful pieces such as “Passaros” to a luminous “Fantasia” with gracious Asian-inflected harp and guitar. A bohemia flavored “Dedezinha De Maio has Assad sounding like she just came out of a gypsy caravan, while the funky percussion of “Tempestade” has her firing off lyrics with passionate abandon. Strings, flutes and harps supply framework for much of the work, with “Lachrimae” honoring the title with tears falling with each stoke of the bow. Her folksiness will disarm you as the accordion backs her on “Da Imaginacao” and she can even serve bebop on a platter as on “Revolta das Flores.” This album is like being chased through a myriad of small windy and narrow streets that take you into  different neighborhoods. One minute you’re surrounded by hanging laundry, and the next you’re interrupting someone’s argument before you’re distracted by a cooked dinner. A trip worth taking!

Adventure Music

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