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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Verde CD Cover
Photo © Fernando Velázquez 2005
\r\nImage © Deutsche Grammaphon 2004
\r\nand © Universal Classics 2005

(03 September 2005) Brazilian singer/guitarist Badi Assad presents Verde (Deutsche Grammophon (Gmbh) | Universal Classics (USA) B0005054-02, 2005) which is her first solo album in six years and her debut with this label. This collection of fourteen tracks espouses her Brazilian musical background with the jazzy, rhythmic and unique touch one expects from music south of the border.

Badi sings with a stylish clarity that reaches to the various genres of jazz, classical and contemporary pop/rock. She is a talented musician, encompassing singing, songwriting, guitar and percussion. She approaches her music with a spirituality and intensity to her musical roots. The title, Verde, alludes to the myriad shades of green of the Brazilian rain forest which Badi helps resonate with her innovative interpretations.

The album has a mix of English and Portuguese lyrics and it blends well with the edgy, sensuous melodies. In addition to her original compositions, she sings U2's "One" and Bjork's "Bachelorette" in her own unique manner. Badi uses rhythmic mouth and body percussion to help the tunes become distinctively her own.

Badi says, "I think I have something to communicate to other people, not just the ones who love my guitar playing. I'd like to present my musical universe to all people - regardless of whether they otherwise listen to pop, jazz, classical, rock or Brazilian music."

Having first played the piano, Badi started the guitar at age 14, and within a year became proficient on the instrument. She participated in and won national and international competitions, and later went on to continue her musical education at the university in Rio. She integrated exotic sounds and expressions to her magnificent guitar playing through her vocal sounds and mouth percussion, creating an outstanding individuality in her music.

She overcame a motor disability which for quite a while prevented her from playing the guitar. Miraculously in 2001, she recovered from this disability and went on to record new music that brought her broad acclaim. Her magnificent abilities are showcased in Verde.

While performing all the music on this CD, Badi is accompanied by bassist and co-producer Rodolfo Stroeter, percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, flautist Teco Cardoso and accordionist Toninho Ferragutti.

There is no doubt that Badi can electrify the listener with her dynamic and unique approach to her music. This multi-talented singer and performer sets a new precedent with her innovative style. Her guitar playing is top-notch andexhilarating, placing her in the forefront with her amazing skills. Badi shows imagination and flair which titillates the senses!--Audrey Elliot in New York

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