Badi Assad – Wonderland – Edge Music/DGG

by | Oct 5, 2006 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

Badi Assad – Wonderland – Edge Music/DGG B0007153-02, 49:31, ****:

(Badi Assad, vocals/vocal effects/guitars; Jaques Morelenbaum, cello; Carlos Malta, saxophone/flute; Zeca Assumpção, doublebass; Marcos Suzano, percussion)

The Brazilian fireball with the wild hair, acoustic guitar and bare feet is back again – after her first Edge CD “Verde” – with a gangbusters CD which also is meant to appeal to a wider public than most of her previous either bossa nova or jazz guitar efforts on Chesky and other labels. This is one high-energy lady – exotic, cool, sexy – and capable of fusing jazz, Brazilian and pop music in an exciting variety of ways.  She can sound like a whole band with just her guitar, voice and percussive sounds which she creates both with her voice and guitar body. She uses polyrhythms in her guitar playing and can play both the melody and percussion effects at the same time. In fact Acoustic Guitar magazine ran a whole feature story on exactly how she does it.

This collection of 13 tracks has Brazilian songs, pop tunes from  Björk, the Eurythmics, Tori Amos and U2, and some lovely instrumental selections, including the theme from the film Amelie. There’s even a vocal on a tune by Vangelis. One writer compared her vocal transformative abilities to Bobby McFerrin, and they certainly both share a sort of trickster sense of humor.  The arrangements are a key to the success of this album. Some come from other members of the Assad clan – Sérgio and Clarice, and some from cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, who also plays in the tango trio with Riuchi Sakamoto.

The promotional review package came with a video DVD of Badi which was fun, informative, and offered a chance to see more of her (than in the stills with the CD) wearing her rather odd but sexy costume, which must be for Carnaval.  Too bad Edge didn’t release this as a CD + DVD for consumers.

Tracks: Acredite ou não, From United States of Piaui, 1000 Mirrors, Distantes Demais, Sweet Dreams, A banca do distinto, Black Dove, Zoar, Vacilão, O mundo é um moinho, One More Kiss Dear, O que seria?, Estrada do sol.

– John Henry

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