Album review: Archetypes

Published on August 14, 2021 by Graham Rickson       |      Share this post!

“consistently enjoyable, and wonderfully recorded.”

Archetypes is an engaging act of musical collaboration, four each of its twelve sections written by Brazilian guitarist Sérgio Assad and his daughter Clarice, the remaining numbers composed by the four members of Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion. The aims are lofty, the archetypes selected to reflect the commonality of human experience and culture at a time when the world feels more fractured than ever. Though it’s very easy to enjoy this disc as a sequence of neatly sketched character pieces, the group’s sound enhanced by piano, guitar and Clarice’s vocals. The opener, Clarice’s “Rebel”, kicks off with a flurry of attitudinal drum rolls and cymbal crashes, and Sergio’s “Innocent” is a lovely portrait of wide-eyed innocence

The sonorities throughout are so crisp, so clear; I’m fascinated by the guitar triplets and marimba semiquavers overlaid at the start of David Skidmore’s “Lover”, and the calm solemnity of “Ruler”, written by Peter Martin. The playing is so tight, so precise. Clarice’s “Jester” is three minutes of compelling musical silliness, featuring Jew’s harp, swanee whistle and motor horn. It’s all consistently enjoyable, and wonderfully recorded. Do watch the short album introduction on YouTube, which contains entertaining footage of the musicians at work and a fulsome tribute from Sergio.

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Click here to stream or purchase the album from Cedille Records.