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Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Sérgio and Odair Assad
     

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Sérgio and Odair Assad

by Odair Assad
 
The spirits of Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin might have been floating around the studio when violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and guitarists Sergio and

Overview

The spirits of Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin might have been floating around the studio when violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad got together for this eclectic recording. Add a dash of Bela Bartók, a pinch of Middle Eastern spice, and you have an intoxicating goulash of classical and world music with the elegance of hot club swing. The album begins with "Andalucia," a Sergio Assad tune based on an old folk song. The guitarists play fiery flamenco-inspired rhythms as Salerno-Sonnenberg's violin darts and weaves through the tune. When percussionist Jamey Haddad jumps into the mix, the tune smolders. Equally flammable is the perpetual motion of "The Chase," another Assad composition that pushes the guitarists' limits. The Assads trade phrases that strike rich harmonic ground (Arab-Andalusian influenced) while Haddad's percussion provides crackling punctuation. Salerno-Sonnenberg is showcased on "Istanbul: Awakening and Turkish Dance." She opens the tune with a keening Middle-Eastern wail that's colored with tasteful vibrato as her playing soars heavenward. It's a stunning virtuoso display for the violinist. The equally passionate Assads join in, too, making this extended tone poem the disc's highlight. Bartók's penchant for Hungarian folk melodies is paid homage with "Gypsy Songs." The seven brief tunes are noteworthy for their striking harmonies, shifting rhythms, and boundless melody. The trio's interplay in these pieces is almost preternatural, as if they've been playing together for decades. The elegant "Nuages" by the great Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt closes this impassioned recording on a gentle note.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/18/2000
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597950526
catalogNumber:
79505

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