Past and present are entwined in so many beautiful ways on Reliquiathe first collaboration between the father-daughter combination of guitarist Sergio Assad and vocalist Clarice Assad. Together these two trace a backwards course from today's vantage point, exploring their own musical bloodlines and those of their native Brazil. In doing so, they bring together a collection of originals that are timeless in their mode(s) of expression.
While there's a certain degree of understatement in much of this material, that shouldn't be misread as a sign of simplicity. This is sophisticated music packaged in easy appeal. The elder Assad's pristine sound, broad harmonic knowledge, and skillful application of ornamentation mesh beautifully with his daughter's voicea pitch-perfect instrument that covers a tremendous range of expressions. Clarice constantly captivates, whether singing in Portuguese, delivering wordless vocals, or taking to the piano bench, and Sergio, likewise, manages to seduce with his every gesture on guitar. But this isn't just a tale of two. A coterie of guestsclarinetist Derek Bermel, mandolin player Mike Marshall, percussionist Keita Ogawa, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, and vocalist Angela Olintoadd additional layers of beauty and/or propulsion to the project as they come and go.
It's easy to simply drift away into the music ("Reliquia") and get caught up in the energy of this union ("Cidade" and "Capoeira"), but it's the deeper meaning here that leaves a lasting impression. There's something incredibly special in the act of hearing Clarice salute her father on one of her originals ("Song For My Father") and hearing Sergio do the same for his father ("Jorginho Do Bandolim") later in the program. And then there's the closer ("Sol De Clave (Treble Clef)"), a piece that bottles the ephemeral and connects it to present day. A decades-old recording snippet of Clarice singing along with her father's guitar leads into that pair's present day sound. It's a testament to the bonds forged through birth and life, continually strengthened in every small and large gesture of love that takes place between a parent and child.
Track Listing: Cidade (City); Artistico (Artistic); Reliquia (Relic); Song For My Father; Capoeira; Angela; The Last Song; Estranho Mundo (Strange World); Jorginho Do Bandolim; Ventos (Winds); Sol De Clave (Treble Clef).
There is a freedom and a sense of exhilaration in Jazz that is not found in any other music. Jazz is about finding freedom and a personal voice within a structure, and that is what
appeals to me most. I had a late start in jazz.
I was first exposed to jazz without any formal training by watching videos of Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk in my 20's.
Later, I met Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Werner, Chick Corea, Martial Solal, Bernard Maury, Fred Hersh, Barry Harris, among many other musicians over the years.
The first jazz record I
bought was Keith Jarrett, The Melody at Night, with You and it is still one of the solo piano masterpiece in my view.
My advice to new listeners... Just enjoy it!
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