Published on April 6, 2021 by Hannah Edgar | Share this post!
This album is just as delicious as it sounds. Father–daughter musical motors Sérgio and Clarice Assad team up with the Third Coast Percussion foursome for this brand-new suite, whose twelve varied movements represent character types found in literature around the world (e.g. The Orphan, The Innocent, The Sage). The Third Coast lads wrote one movement each, with all the rest penned by the Assads.
For a collaboratively composed work, Archetypes, lush with color and curiosity, is as seamless as could be on a start-to-finish hearing. It doesn’t surprise me at all that some of the more audacious tracks were Clarice’s doing: “Rebel” hurtles headlong into its many stylistic volte-faces, and “Jester” piles on irreverent percussion gimmicks—slide whistles, mouth harps, and flexatones, oh my!—to create something driving and fresh. (The insistent kazoo solo at its climax called to mind Shakespeare’s Fools, those perennially underestimated truth-tellers.)
Yes, Archetypes is eclectic—and eccentric—but it’s not without its austere moments. My favorite was Sean Connors’s “Creator,” which radiates around a theme that sounds something like a benevolent Dies Irae. The Assads’ subsequent “Hero” and “Explorer” echo its contours, ending the album in the same high-energy place it began. Sérgio’s guitar is often understated, but his presence is deeply felt throughout, most especially in the expansive solo–cum–duet which opens “Ruler.”