Led Zeppelin and the accordion is an unlikely pairing, but then so is a collection that mixes the compositions of Robert Plant, John Bonham and Jimmy Page with Sonny Bono. Nice, France native and multi-instrumentalist Vincent Peirani has recorded five albums as a leader/co-leader for ACT Records. Living Being llNight Walker is the follow up to Living Being (2015), and features the same quintet with the addition of electronics artist Valentin Liechti, who appears briefly on the last of its twelve tracks.
Peirani has classical training and has been playing accordion in a jazz setting since his teen years. He has worked in a parallel career as a mixing engineer. It was in that capacity that he participated in projects with two generations of rock legendsDeep Purple and Rage Against the Machineand thus his affinity for rock and jazz has a long history. Peirani has performed and/or recorded with cellist Vincent Courtois, drummer Daniel Humair and reed multi-instrumentalist Louis Sclavis, amongst many other European jazz artists.
The group does a good job of taking Bono's "Bang Bang" from prosaic pop tune to melancholy lamentation. Peirani's subsequent originals, "Enzo," "Le Clown Sauveur De La Fete Foraine" and "What Power Art Thou," gradually build in momentum, the latter piece featuring an excellent saxophone solo from Emile Parisien. The centerpiece of the album, "Kashmir To Heaven," begins a trilogy with Peirani's elegiac introduction, "Opening," leading into the Plant/Bonham/Page classic "Kashmir" and on to "Stairway to Heaven." Both are fine versions of these Zeppelin songs: neither jazz nor rock but an equivocal fusion style. The title track and ensuing "K2000" are rock/jazz fusions, while the final three tracks are quieter pieces with strong European folk influences.
The nature of Peirani's instrumentation and his choice of material make Living Being llNight Walker (available in vinyl, CD and digital formats) an interesting and engaging album. His accordion and accordina (essentially, a melodica) are a natural fit for the more European-styled pieces but also work well on the exotic sound of "Kashmir." His band, especially Parisien and bassist Julien Herné, bring a jazz sensibility to pieces that waver and blur lines between genres.
Bang Bang; Enzo; Le Clown Sauveur De La Fete Foraine; What Power Art Thou; (Kashmir To Heaven): l – Opening; II – Kashmir; lll - Stairway To Heaven; Night Walker; K2000; Falling; Unknown Chemistry; Smoke & Mirrors.
Vincent Peirani: accordion, accordina, voice; Emile Parisien: soprano saxophone; Tony Paelman: fender rhodes, keys; Julien Herné: electric bass, electric guitar; Yoann Serra: drums; Valentin Liechti: electronics (12).
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