Album review: Archetypes

Published on May 19, 2021 by James Manheim       |      Share this post!

“It’s rare, especially in the music broadly characterized as classical, to find music that’s genuinely collaborative at its core . . . but this release . . . manages the trick.”

“This is something of a landmark in what used to be called Third Stream music, the fusion of classical music and jazz.”

It’s rare, especially in the music broadly characterized as classical, to find music that’s genuinely collaborative at its core. For the most part, collaborations ornament the work of one creative figure with contributions from another, but this release from the father-and-daughter Latin jazz guitarists Sérgio and Clarice Assad and the avant-garde Third Coast Percussion Ensemble manages the trick. It helps that the musicians’ backgrounds overlap somewhat; Clarice has a composition master’s degree, and Third Coast, which played clubs earlier in its career, certainly is literate in jazz rhythms and forms, but this does not prepare the listener for how confidently this music flows. The 12 archetypes of the title are, in the words of the players, “ancient, universal patterns of human behavior,” with each piece aptly evoking “The Magician,” “The Jester,” “The Hero,” and so on. The various elements of style here are woven together in distinctive ways that suggest the idea being portrayed. Some of the pieces are composed by Sérgio or Clarice, and some by members of Third Coast, and the division is audible but not strongly apparent. Jazz is used for the more animated archetypes, but in each case, there is full participation by all the musicians, and the considerable virtuosity of the Third Coast Percussion Ensemble is on display. This is something of a landmark in what used to be called Third Stream music, the fusion of classical music and jazz.

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