2QT Supplement #2

Clarice Assad, Imaginarium

Pianist and singer-songwriter-composer Clarice Assad comes from a premier Brazilian musical family that includes guitarist brothers Sergio & Odair Assad (who excel at tangoes), their younger sister, guitarist-singer Badi Assad (a penetrating interpreter of diverse pop and jazz in the ’90s who had some motor-skills medical problems and has never quite recovered). Sergio is Clarice’s father. Although Imaginarium was the most potent and exciting Brazilian album I heard all year, I did not go for a formal review because I had not heard any of her other three albums. Complete research is often not possible, but none is surely not enough.

Now I have checked out Home (2011), which features larger helping of neo-Tropicalia originals and covers and even more of Assad’s rollicking scat-singing. But it’s small-ensemble backing and I bet the more than 50 players and singers on Imaginarium are what she’s needed to get all her styles on display and in limber motion. It’s louder, faster, more insistent, includes more jazz, a winking passage of light opera and best of all a couple of outright jokes, which she needed more than was evident. And sure, pretty bell-like voice.

Official website.

2nd Quarter Top 15, 2014

You get too far into the 3rd Quarter of a year before you settle on 2nd Quarter picks and you look like a nut. So, even though I’m not quite ready with what I have to say about these, here’s the list. Affections vary from platonic to irrational, but these are albums I play all the way through, one or two lesser tracks at most. Release dates are not exact — these are albums I assimilated in the second four months of this year, and they are at least close to release and some came out maybe a bit earlier. And of course no opinion is fixed — indeed, Miles To Go regulars will immediately note that I proclaimed one the these picks a “bummer” not that long ago. Shows why, sometimes, you need to keep re-listening.

1. Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin, Common Ground — Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy (Yep Roc)

2. Clarice Assad, Imaginarium (Adventure Music)

Assad

3. Bahamas, Bahamas Is Afie (Brushfire)

4. Benyoro, S/T (Benyoro)

Benyoro

5. Boris, Noise (Sargent House)

6. Eno/Hyde, High Life (Warp)

7. Golem, Tanz (Corason)

8. Fred Hersch Trio, Floating (Palmetto)

Hersch

9. Miranda Lambert, Platinum (RCA)

10. Arto Lindsay, Encyclopedia of Arto (Nspy)

11. Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture)

12. Juanito Pascual, New Flamenco Trio (self-released)

13. Sharon Van Etten, Are We There (Jagjaguwar)

14. Wray. S/T (Communicating Vessels)

Wray

15. Neil Young, A Letter Home (Reprise)