On the cover of his CD The Three Voices, Victor Prieto looks as if he's going to do something crazy with his accordions. He is a giant behind the big city skyline, towering over tall buildings. It's sort of like a "Godzilla of the squeeze boxes" scene. But the accordionist doesn't look like he's bent on Godzillian destruction; he, in fact, looks as if his intention is the spreading of musical joy.
Prieto is New York City-based nowhe teaches Master classes at Berklee College of Musicbut he has roots in Galacia. He has combined the sounds of Galacia with Celtic music, Brazilian moods, tango and classical music to create a brew that is distinctly and enthusiastically his own.
His original tune, the frenetic "Chatting With Chris," opens the CD. It's a high energy quartet mash up, featuring John Ellis on soprano saxophone, setting the studio on fire while Prieto fans the flames with the sweet sounds blowing off his accordion reeds. Prieto employs and almost Coltranian "sheets of sound" approach, whether in accompaniment or in his solo, in a song where both front players are tackling the task like they mean it.
"Michelangelo 70," from the pen of Tango legend Astor Piazzollait's one of only two non-Prieto tunes on the setbrings in an old world vibe. This is just drums/bass/accordion, and Prieto proves himself virtuosic, easing off a spirited solo to let drummer Eric Doob roll into a rumbling-tumbling solo of his own. Pianist Arturo O'Farrill sits in on three numbers, including the gorgeous and initially pensive "Games," that features a delicately compelling interplay between accordion and piano. Violinist Meg Okura joins the party on "Papa Pin." The blend of voicesviolin, piano, saxophone and accordion, along with the rhythm sectionpaints a wondrous, diaphanous sonic wash.
Prieto includes two tunes that feature his Tuvan singing, an art that originated in Mongolia, Siberia and Tuva, described as "the individual vibration control of the vocal chords." It is and eerie, haunting sound that blends well with the drone-like backing of the accordion, a sound of a netherworld, maybe the place from which Victor Prieto emerged to loom over the skyscrapers of the city.
Chatting With Chris; Michelangelo 70; Games; Games 2; Papa Pin; Recuerdos; Rosa; Six Note Samba; Muineira for Cristina; The Three Voices; The Vibration; Two Door.
Victor Prieto: accordion, voice; Jorge Roeder: bass; Eric Doob: drums; Atrutro O'Farrell: piano (3, 4 ,5); John Ellis: saxophone (1, 3, 8, 12); Cristina Pato: gaita (9); Meg Okura: violin (5).
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.