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Saturday, July 09, 2016

CD Review: Os Clavelitos (Little Carnations) - Arriving

(Review by Ann Alex)
Are you thinking of opening a Spanish restaurant, or maybe having a party? Then this CD would be just right as lively atmospheric background music, then when the guests have gone, you could enjoy listening to it properly, to appreciate the fine singing of Ms Honda, the rich solos from flute and tenor sax, and the Latin rhythms produced by light drums, bongos, bells and the occasional whistle.  Even the sad love songs sound almost happy to the Brazilian grooves of samba, baiao, frevo, bossa, or even bolero and cha-cha.
This is the debut album from Os Clavelitos, a New York City based band, whose members hail from Brazil, Japan and the USA. The aim was to set English lyrics to traditional Brazilian rhythms and to include some folkloric elements.  All the songs are original, with lyrics and tunes composed by Lanni, Kendall and Honda. The lyrics concern romance, loss, nostalgia and a hint of whimsy.  I was struck by the fascinating difference of these lyrics from the swinging songs of the Gasbook.  The latter tend to be witty and concise, whereas these songs are obviously from a different tradition, being wandering narrative tales with many references to the natural world.
I simply relaxed and enjoyed the rhythm based sounds, especially Sands Of Memories, a song of lost love with a gorgeous flute solo; an amusing track called Tom Cruise Samba, in which Tom Cruise is over-praised, a piss-take about celebrity, ending with the words ‘you complete me! Tom Cruise! Jump on my couch Tom Cruise’; and Frost, a slower number with lots of cold images and a shimmering, shivering flute solo.  Other titles are Eunice; Arriving; Profondo Blu; Dewberry; Unrest of Mind; Fiumerapido; and Afrose.
The only downside to the CD concerns the book of lyrics provided, which is in such small print that I had to use a magnifying glass as well as my reading specs to decipher the words of the songs.
Arriving was self-released on June 24 and is available, I'm told, at all fine retailers.  Get a flavour of the music by visiting www.osclavelitos.com
Ann Alex     
Chieko Honda (vocals); Anthony Lanni (guitar, backing vocals); Dan Kendall (bass, cavaquinho, accordion, backing vocals); Livio Almeida (ten/sop saxes, flute); Uka Gameiro (drums, perc);
Arei Sekiguchi (perc), special guests Patrick Lo Re and Tosh Sheridan (backing vocals)

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