Spanish-born jazz accordionist Victor Prieto is the most exciting such player to come on the scene since Eddie Monteiro. Melding Argentine and Brazilian influences with a bop sensibility, Prieto gives the lie to all of the nasty things that have been said over the years about the much-maligned squeezebox.
Backed by Rachel Z drummer Allison Miller and the extraordinarily gifted bassist Carlo DeRosa, Prieto presents a varied and virtuosic set of performances on Persistencia. The variety of tunes is quite amazing and eclectic, ranging from Egberto Gismonti to Astor Piazolla (as one would expect) and John Coltrane (as one would not expect).
I was most impressed, however, by Prieto's original tunes, which account for six of the nine cuts on the album. In particular, "Mundos Celtas" displays much of the rhythmic ingenuity of Hermeto Pascoal (himself no mean accordionist). And one would be hard pressed to find a lovelier and more haunting melody than the one on "Only For You," a tune that is just crying out for a vocal treatment.
Equally impressive is the interplay among the three performers, who sound as though they have been performing together for decades. Although Prieto is the dominant soloist on this album, his colleagues get a number of opportunities to display their immense talents, most notably DeRosa on "26-2" and Miller on the hard-driving "Mugares," the Prieto original which concludes the album.
Persistencia is that rare recording with no weak cuts. It is uncompromising in its musicality and inventiveness, presaging a great future for Victor Prieto as both an instrumentalist and composer.
Track Listing: Frevo; Muineira de Carmen; Contrasts in NY; Libertango; Persistencia; Mundos Celtas; 26-2; Only for you; Mungares.
Personnel: Victor Prieto: accordion; Carlo DeRosa: bass; Allison Miller: drums.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.