Badi Assad At Iridium Jazz Club
By ERNEST BARTELDES
Backed solely by her nylon-string electric guitar, Brazilian singer and guitarist Badi Assad took to the stage in her first U.S. tour since 2007 in support of her 2015 release Hatched (Quatroventos, 2015). Before playing, she spoke of her mixed heritage coming from Lebanon, Italy, Portugal and Brazil, kicking off the set with “Eu Vim Daquele Lugar,” whose lyrics emphasize her country’s melting pot. She followed that with a tune inspired by the beats of northeastern Brazil filled with her characteristic mouth clicks and improvised vocalizations and quickly went into Rio’s classic bossa nova groove with “Basica,” a playful tune about how a white blouse might be unaffected by one’s perception of fashion, citing passages from Ary BarrosoAry Barroso
‘s “Aquarela do Brasil in her playing.
Aware that many fans were there for her earlier material, she included several instrumental pieces that enhanced her guitar chops. But her focus that evening was on Hatched so she quickly dove into material, starting with Mumford & Son’s “Little Lion Man” with a bossa nova-like feel that was quite different from the original recording. She then followed with Hozier’s “Sedated,” again taking the music in a completely different direction using mostly her guitar’s harmonics as accompaniment to her singing.