by Constance Tucker
What happens when you bring together a group of friends who are also musicians from varying backgrounds and countries and put them in a room together to create. Well, the result is an uplifting and energetic listen laced with Latin rhythms and an angelic vocal atop.
The group is called Os Clavelitos and their debut album, Arriving, sets English lyrics over traditional Brazilian rhythms; weaving in diverse, often folkloric, stylistic strands. Based in NYC the six-piece ensemble, sports members from Brazil, Japan, and the U.S., which lends itself to a flavorful beauty that can only be created by diversity.
The album centers in a variety of Brazilian grooves: samba, baiao, frevo, bossa nova, occasionally extending outward into traditions like bolero and cha-cha. The tunes are driven by an underpinning of complex uses of rhythm, created by drum and hand percussion all the while keeping the tunes highly danceable and accessible in its deceivingly complex accession. Guitar and bass express a sensual harmonic frame that is best expressed in South American stylings. Heading up the lyric is Chieko Honda, a vocalist with angelic vocal qualities and the ability to convey poignant storytelling, in her delivery. Her voice is a creative vehicle of emotional precision that melds the group sound to its perfection. Life a fine slice of Rabanada.