From the New Assad Generation
A native of Rio de Janeiro, Clarice Assad (born in 1978) is part of a musical family well known around the world. Daughter of Sergio Assad and niece to Odair Assad, she began studying piano with Sheila Zagury and also had lessons with Natalie Fortin and Leandro Braga. Later she attended the prestigious Berklee School of Music and also obtained her bachelor of music degree from the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University of Chicago and a master of music in composition from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. A 2009 Latin grammy nominee in the best classical contemporary composition (“Danças Nativas”), Clarice had wider exposure of her talents in 2011, when she toured with Sergio & Odair Assad. A talented vocalist who sings in Portuguese, French, Italian and English, she is also well respected and admired for her compositions and piano performances. Her works have been performed by world renowned artists including Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Yo-Yo Ma, Aquarelle Guitar Quartet, the Concordia Chamber Players, Mike Marshall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Louisville Symphony Orchestra and several others.
With this brand new release by Adventure Music, her third solo album, Clarice Assad presents us a glimpse of her multi-faceted talents as a vocalist, pianist, arranger and composer. The press has already begun to notice her and praise her. Classical Guitar Magazine says “she has that trademark Assad style of flying-fingered aplomb”; JazzTimes spared no words by stating that “few can rival the breadth of depth of the tri-generational Assad clan”; and the New York Times simply summed it all up with “a charismatic singer.”
With Home, Clarice does not hide her admiration, influences and inspiration from names that include Elis Regina, as well as a good sample of Brazilian songwriters, including Carlos Lyra, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Edu Lobo, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Ary Barroso, Dorival Caymmi, and using her own words, “the one and only Carmen Miranda.” Home opens with a medley of Elis Regina’s songs. Her electrifying rendition of “Upa Neguinho” will likely leave you breathless with her vibrant piano energy as well as Keita Ogawa’s and Yousif Shronick’s percussion presence. Expanding on Elis Regina a little more, Clarice does a more upbeat version of Sueli Costa and Vitor Martins’ “20 Anos Blues.” You can be certain that this is not your usual bluesy version. Clarice is definitely jazzy in her performance here. She also adds Middle Eastern influences in her vocals, as expected from her family background. It is very different and fresh. I know it will not be everyone’s cup of java, but it plays well in “Cajuína” and other tracks in the album. On the composer side, Clarice features three songs. Whereas “Ad Lib” and “Electrified!” may sound like a choro in overdrive or a clear influence of Hermeto Pascoal, the serenity in “The Last Song” is mesmerizing.
Home explores the varied turf that Clarice Assad has been exposed to in her upbringing. She dares to put her twist and mark in several Brazilian standards and hopefully will attract new listeners that otherwise would not have heard of those songs.
You can read more about the artist in her website.
Adventure Music AM 1692 2 (2012)
- For Elis (Medley):
Menino das Laranjas (Theo de Barros) / Aruanda (Carlos Lyra – Geraldo Vandré) / O Morro não Tem Vez (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes) / Upa Neguinho (Edu Lobo – Gianfrancesco Guarnieri)
- 20 Anos Blues (Sueli Costa – Vitor Martins)
- Cajuína (Caetano Veloso)
- Ad Lib (Clarice Assad)
- The Last Song (Clarice Assad)
- Dora (Dorival Caymmi)
- Estamos Aí (Durval Ferreira – Maurício Einhorn – Regina Werneck)
- Aquarela do Brasil (Ary Barroso)
- Electrified! (Clarice Assad)
- Patuscada de Ghandi (Gilberto Gil)
- Falsa Bahiana (Geraldo Pereira)