248

Chris Cheek / Victor Prieto: Rollo Coaster

By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Cheek / Victor Prieto: Rollo Coaster Chances are you have never heard the accordion played the way Victor Prieto plays it. Indeed, much like Toots Thielemans established the harmonica in the jazz lore huffing and puffing bop lines through his teeth, Prieto breaks the glass ceiling hovering above the crown of Cyrillus Demian's patented invention, squeezing improvised airs with a technical assurance that deserves more widespread recognition.

Long known for catapulting the French valse musette, the Bohemian polka, the French-Canadian reels, and the festive music of the Cajuns to a world stage, the instrument's acceptance into the jazz world has come rather slowly. Sure there have been other accordionists that have mined the genre before— Richard Galliano, Antonello Salis, Mat Mathews, Gianni Coscia, Art Van Damme and, lately, Frode Haltli—but aside from this honorable horde, the Hohners and Excelsiors have been found howling under quite a different moon.

Comes Prieto, with his refreshing, tango-meets-jazz-meets classical music bouquet; a cornucopia filled with earthly tones picked from the best splashed accords by the hands of a crafty artist. Add a premier weaver of melodies in soprano saxophonist Chris Cheek and the end result comes as engaging as a nightingale's courting chant. Together they make music that, despite claiming a strong foothold in the tango tradition, whistles through a wide range of stylistic influences. Their chanced meeting happened in the ensemble of top tango-jazz authority Emilio Solla.

The album opens with Hermeto Pascoal's "BeBe," an arrangement which might be described as a mix between Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody 'n You" and a feverish Brazilian dance. Cheek's "Coo" follows. Taking turns at lashing out gripping yet rather succinct solos, the pair then segues into "Rollo Coaster," a relaxed piece in 7/4.

Things take a drastically different route as Prieto intones the church organ-like introduction to the confessional "Shelter." A somewhat odd turn of event in the program's unfolding, the change in mood is a surprise, feeling more like a concert of J.S.Bach's sacred music. Thought not a disagreeable move at all, the ploy nevertheless sharply departs from the mood the musicians have set so far. The feeling resurfaces halfway through "Papa Pin" before vacating the floor for the dancing "Rosa."

Rollo Coaster is a stylistically diversified effort; one which, on the different fronts inside which it maneuvers, breaks many barriers. Who knew the accordion could sound so intriguing?


Track Listing: Bebe; Coo; Rollo Coaster; Six Note Samba; Shelter; Chatting With Chris; Papa Pin; Rosa; Rio; Los Recuerdos; Improv I; Improv II; Improv III; Memories.

Personnel: Chris Cheek: soprano saxophone; Victor Prieto: accordion

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Cheekus Music | Style: Latin/World


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Christmastime in New Orleans" CD/LP/Track Review Christmastime in New Orleans
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Songs Of Bacharach And Manzanero" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Of Bacharach And Manzanero
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2016
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "Looking Back" CD/LP/Track Review Looking Back
by Jim Olin
Published: March 8, 2016
Read "Live In Ludwigshafen 1961" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Ludwigshafen 1961
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!