Guy Klucevsek/Bantam Orchestra:Stolen Memories

Bob Burnett: I've just spent the last few days in the bay area and made swings by Amoeba Music in San Francisco as well as Berkeley. I picked up a wide range of things--from Neil Young & Crazy Horse to a Criterion DVD of Grey Gardens. I'm sure your own personal bin scanning and buying excurions to great stores like Amoeba brings you offerings performed on guitar, piano, possibly saxophone and maybe even a theremin or two--but how're ya doing with accordion? Now you can say "well--quite well thank you! I just bought some Guy Klucevsek and the Bantam Orchestra!" I've been meaning to mention this album for some time. Yesterday, I flipped by it in a bin and reminded myself to write something up because it's something to keep an eye out for.

Guy Klucevsek is a master of the Titano Royal Converter Piano Accordion --he's comfortable playing "straight" but where he really shines in his ability to bring the avant garde to the accordion. He's been a "downtown music" guy for a long time-playing with innumerable players in NY's adventurous music scene. If you want to know more check out his webpage. One album in particular that I enjoy is Stolen Memories which is a quartet that goes by the name Bantam Orchestra. The Bantams include Achim Tang on bass and sisters Sara (violin) and Margaret (cello-voice) Parkins along with Klucevsek on accordion, piano and melodica. Stolen Memories is a chamber effort--it moves effortlessly from soft, floating klezmer music to minimal avant garde-tinged compositions. "Wave Hill" is a particularly striking Eno-style composition where chord patterns and melodies gently overlap in a peaceful manner. I also enjoy Tesknota (for John Cage) a long, fluid, drifting composition. In fact, since we're on accordion and John Cage, Teodoro Anzellotti created Three Compositions by John Cage, a beautiful solo take on Cage that I suggest looking into too if you enjoy Cage solo piano such as Sonatas and Interludes or The Seasons.

Time to catch a Jet Blue plane and watch the US Open.

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