WRCU Review – World Music Review

Kevin Bauch

Brazilian musician Nanny Assis is an intergral part of his native country’s music scene; however, it wasn’t until February of 2007 that he released an album of his own. He brings sixteen years of experience to his debut, Double Rainbow.

Assis is a skilled composer and arranger; the album’s tight orchestration reflects his talent. Top level percussion provides an engaging framework for guitar, piano, flute and trumpet.

A laid-back attitude prevails on the CD, reflected in the smooth and soothing vocals. At times the album becomes too relaxed and seems to lose energy, but always recovers momentum with upbeat percussion, which seems to infect the vocals and instrumentation with enthusiasm.

Double Rainbow is sung mostly in Portuguese, except for a cover of Seal’s “Kissed From a Rose”. The gentle rhythms of the language integrate cleanly with the flow of the music to produce a pleasing lead melody, regardless of one’s knowledge of the tongue. The subjects of his songs range from natural imagery, to soul-searching, to the struggles of impoverished Brazilian farmers. Several traditional Latin and Brazilian pieces are included, such as “Mas Que Nada” and “Brasileirinho”. The topical range of Nanny’s songs keeps the album fresh.

Assis’s work is permeated with sensitivity to the subtle and the harmonious. His songs arn’t driving and powerful, instead savoring the soft touches and lingering on layers of beautiful sound. Double Rainbow is easy on the ears, and easily appreciated by everyone, whether they have no experience with Latin folkmusic or are an aficionado.