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Noise_Problems on 02/15/2012 at 04:33PM

St. Petersburg´s La Minor live in Amsterdam

La Minor http://www.morezvukov.nl/artist-roster/la-minor/

The Bayan (the Russian button accordion) pushes, the saxophone flatters and lyrics tell about gangster stories, backyard songs of love, passion, alcohol and prison.

La Minor comes from St. Petersburg, but do have a partiality for Odessa. Indeed the alleys and bars of these two cities have a lot in common with their European charm. La Minor plays cabaret and street chanson, Russian folk, jazz and klezmer. "They resurrect part of the atmosphere of the Odessa of the 20’s to 40’s. Their songs sound like musical detective stories about little rascals and tragic loves, joyful and melancholic at the same time. Thieves and police men, whores and undercover agents crowd the urban underworld of La Minor songs. The gentle-tender maternal nature of the Russian language makes the tough stories touching and timeless." 

La Minor live at Pacific Parc was one fine evening and it is a fine recording. The mood transpires all over the microphones. Time seemed to stand still but the music kept on playing and the crowd dancing. So it was split into two volumes Vol.1 & Vol.2 На здоровье!

  

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kexpfan on 08/27/2010 at 09:15AM

Jazz Violinist Regina Carter Interprets African Folk Live @ KEXP

photo by Dave Lichterman, all rights reserved, more photos on the KEXP flickr

Renowned jazz violinist Regina Carter took an interesting turn with her album Reverse Thread by interpreting a wide range of African songs (both modern and traditional) with her own unique twist. She’s joined by Malian kora master Yacouba Sissoko and accordionist Will Holshouser for a live KEXP performance and you can see the results are quite lovely. –W. Myers / KEXP

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JoeMc on 02/18/2010 at 09:00AM

The Wizard

One of the all-time great artistes of the accordion was a diminutive Sicilian immigrant with bad eyesight and a bum lip named Pietro Frosini. Although he was barely five feet tall, he stood head-and-shoulders above the players of his day. Even today, among accordionists, he is considered to be one of the greatest players who ever hoisted the instrument. He lived up to his renown as "The Wizard of the Accordion."

What made him so special? Well, technical facility for one thing. The dude could play rings around just about anybody. He wasn't just fast, but flawless, his playing almost liquid in its sure and smooth motion. Not only that, but he was doing it on a chromatic accordion, a beast harder to master than the standard piano accordion. Chromatic accordions rely on a button system instead of a keyboard system, with more complicated fingering patterns and other arm and wrist gymnastics. The buttons are set up on the chromatic scale of half-step intervals instead of the standard major and minor scales most employed by musical instruments. Frosini made playing this challenging instrument sound easy.

Frosini was indeed technically accomplished, but what makes him such a master is that he also had taste. His playing is rarely busy. Take a listen to his version of "Wedding of the Winds" and see if you don't agree, and then read on below for more about the "Wizard of the Accordion."


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