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Victor Prieto: Persistencia

Dan McClenaghan By

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The accordion seems to be gaining favor in the jazz world—just think of Gary Versace's beautiful playing on the title cut of Maria Schneider's masterpiece, Concert in the Garden, in an orchestral setting. Victor Prieto goes with a pared-down approach on Persistencia, placing the squeezebox out in front of bass (Carlo DeRosa) and drums (Allison Miller).

Originally from Galicia, Spain, the New York-based Prieto offers up his own personal vision of accordion playing with Persistencia. It's a sweet sound, one that explores new colors, rhythms and textures as Prieto and company delve into classical, jazz, tango, Brazilian and Celtic music.

From start to finish, Persistencia feels gentle and understated, with a pervading old world charm, even on a piece like Coltrane's "26-2." "Libertango," an Astor Piazzolla piece, explores the Argentinian tango; "Mundos Celtas," an Irish pub get-up-and-dance tune, burns with more than a bit of a Spanish tinge.

Six of the nine tunes on Persistencia are Prieto originals, along with the previous mentioned Coltrane and Piazzolla tunes. One more, Frevo," comes from the pen of Egberto Gismonti. The atmosphere of Persistencia is relaxed and loose, unpretentious, like something played in a party in a living room or a small but intimate venue.

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.

Title: Persistencia | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Foxhaven Records

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