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Album Review

Vincent Peirani: Jokers

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Vincent Peirani: Jokers
In the early 1970s, jazz and rock intersected, and fusion was spawned. In the new millennium, fusion and progressive rock are sometimes bopping down the same road. Music can easily get slotted into one category or another, and of consequence can just as easily be missed. Vincent Peirani's dynamic new recording Jokers, is a fine example of that quandary. Peirani has several records to his credit. Here he plays Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson on accordion. Yes, you read that correctly. Throughout the record he also plays clarinet, keys, accordion, music box, glockenspiel, and more. Indeed, Jokers is a monstrously clever collection of music. Along with guitarist Federico Casagrande and drummer Ziv Ravitz, Peirani takes a deep dive into expressionism, melodies, unbridled instrumental ranges and bursts, and unorthodox approaches. It's the type of record that might inspire a "I've never heard anything like that ever before" reaction.

Manson's "This Is The New Stuff" is blown up as much as it is reimagined. The heavy metal deployment of the original is replaced by a gentle music box introduction before Peirani's pulsating electric accordion blasts in. Soon a thick bass line is flirting with the dark side, leading to the power of drums and electric guitar. The spirited melody is appropriated on accordion as the highly driven tune flourishes on keys. Through the many improvisational changes the rhythm section kicks to a semi-conclusion, right before the music box says farewell. By the beginning of "Salsa Fake," the feel of well-scripted parts appear to be cinema like. Drums with counterpoint keys are met by hot prog rock guitar licks that sound like they are coming out of a different world...or at least another speaker.

The intensity drops and we slide into a leisurely accordion raft ride down the "River." A respite from the preceding bursts of energy, this breezy melody marks a significant directional pull. With the thematic creases still in place, the "River" winds to its conclusion with increased rapids from drummer Ravitz. "The Circus Of Lights" portrays an astronomical sense of colors coming from sound. In this intelligent and inventive piece from Peirani, accordion spins eminate in hallucinogenic spirals. If one were to be tripping on this record it would certainly have come on by now. Then its time to have your headspace hammered by Nine Inch Nails. Peirani and company manage to keep the raw power of "Copy of A," while feverishly exploring on an accordion. If your sound system goes to ten, this might be a good time to use it.

They then notch it down a bit in the "Twilight." This piece brings a calm and serene feel to the landscape, with just a hint of darkness. Time is not of an essence in the "Twilight." It may no longer exist in this hazy dim land we are transported into. If there is one tune that really cries out "jazz" it is "Heimdall." The improvisations speak of that, but then again, there is also a progressive rock twist. Sizzling guitar riffs with an equally smoldering rhythm section only stop to make way for the in-the-moment jazz infusion. The vigorous and all encompassing crescendo was fueled by the power of electronica bliss. "Ninna Nanna" closes the show after tormenting one at the outset with a little cat and mouse as to what direction they were going to go. A soft guitar and accordion duet emerged. They pulled closer together while staying in wide space.

Jokers is a powerful statement from an artist known for risk taking. There is never a dull moment. The bond between these three musicians strengthens as the journey unfolds and forms. Peinani issues an invitation to step outside the norm, the usual, the mundane, and open your mind to a vivid, new and unexpected experience.

Track Listing

This Is The New Shit; Salsa Fake; River; Les Larmes de Syr; Circus of Light; Copy of A; Twilight; Heimdall; Ninna Nanna.

Personnel

Vincent Peirani: accordion; Federico Casagrande: guitar; Ziv Ravitz: drums.

Album information

Title: Jokers | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: ACT Music

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