Kassin + 2 | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | International, Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Kassin + 2 All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Sat., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m. 2008

Though much of it is rooted in familiar Brazilian styles like samba and bossa nova, the most Brazilian thing about the music of Alexandre Kassin, Moreno Veloso, and Domenico Lancellotti is the way it embodies the cool cosmopolitanism of Rio de Janeiro, extracting ideas from a far-flung variety of styles—not just Afro-Caribbean idioms but also jazz, psychedelia, funk, electronica, garage rock, and more. The trio’s previous records have been billed to Moreno + 2 and Domenico + 2, after the member writing and singing most of the songs, and Kassin’s album, this year’s Futurismo (Luaka Bop), is even more catholic than the first two. Kassin and company yoke together everything from the honeyed electric guitars and hovering vibraphone of the Afro-Cuban-flavored “Tranquilo” (covered by Bebel Gilberto on her most recent album) to the retro-robotic vocals of the electro-fied “Samba Machine,” creating an aesthetic whose only unifying principle is that nothing is straight­forward—though the band’s fusions are often charmingly out of whack, the odd gaps are where sparks tend to leap. I’ve seen the group five times (lately they’ve been a five-piece onstage), and each show has been more precise and daring than the last—at the 2005 World Music Festival, for instance, they merged with openers On Fillmore for a one-off collaboration so casually seamless it looked like they’d been practicing for months. They’re all incredible players, and they’re a blast live—they take having fun as seriously as they take their music. —Peter Margasak

Price: $28, $26 members, $24 children and seniors

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