Friday, May 8, 2015

CD Review: Nicole's 'Roots'

Soundbrush Records

What do you get when you combine Yiddish music with Brazilian chutzpah? You get Roots. Nicole, the lead progenitor surrounding this uncanny concoction, showcases her Ukrainian self via New York and Sao Paulo. The outstanding vocalist adds a variety of modern accouterments, including accordion, mandolin, electric guitars, electric bass, percussion, violin, trumpet, clarinet, and other instruments. The berimbau is also included on a few tracks with its unmistakable, tinny string melodies. There are a few Yiddish standards and traditional songs, but a few new tunes are also included. The psychedelic and syncopated beats of "Quem Que Sobra" are very indelible and memorable. The traditional tune, "Batatas," is included as a remix and a traditional tune. Some of the tracks are characteristically Brazilian with breezy melodies, down-tempo percussion, and wafting accordion overtures. Special guests, Frank London, Isra-Alien, Renato Thomas, Michael Winograd, Jake Shulman-Ment, and Danny Blume add their expertise to the album. There is a little bit of everything for the Brazilian and Klezmer aficionado. ~ Matthew Forss

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