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On Victor Prieto's debut recording, the accomplished Spanish accordionist has chosen to approach his instrument in a new way. Aided by bassist Carlo DeRosa and drummer Allison Miller, Prieto included Egberto Gismonti's "Frevo, John Coltrane's "26-2 and Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango in a program with six original compositions.
Starting with "Frevo, Prieto immediately dazzles with his fast fingering, switching from single notes to chords in rapid fashion. The group is equally at home playing the up-tempo material (like the original "Contrasts in New York ) and the ballads (like the lovely title track). On "26-2, Prieto approaches his lead as if the accordion were a saxophone, and Miller contributes an explosive drum solo. But the most notable piece is Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango. DeRosa's arco playing and Prieto's repeated figure carry the melody; the leader is able to make his accordion sound like the traditional Argentinean bandoneon.
In a recent after hours performance at Dizzy's Club, Prieto performed eight of the songs from Persistencia, with Vince Cherico subbing for Miller. The trio set up on stage with the members facing each other as three sides of a square, the fourth side allowing the audience to enter into their musical conversation, more like someone's living room than a club. Jumping from the up-tempo "Frevo to the wistful "Muneira da Carmen (where Cherico delivered exquisite brushwork), the trio entertained a responsive audience, particularly during "Libertango, the set's highlight.
Track Listing: Frevo; Muineira da Carmen; Contrasts in NY; Libertango; Persistencia; Mundos Celtas; 26-2; Only For You; Mugares.
Personnel: Victor Prieto: accordion; Carlo DeRosa: bass; Allison Miller: drums.