5

Vincent Peirani: Thrill Box

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Vincent Peirani: Thrill Box Thrill Box is Vincent Peirani's debut release on the ACT Music label. Its title refers to Peirani's instrument of choice, the accordion. For many, the accordion springs most readily to mind as an East European folk instrument, for others it evokes images of Morris dancers on warm English spring evenings (although that's more usually the concertina) or summers at a French pavement cafe, for others still it's part of the musical culture of South America. On this mixture of original tunes, jazz classics and American traditional songs it's all of those things—as well as a front-line jazz instrument.

Peirani started out as a classical music scholar, aged 12 and he's played with stars including fellow ACT Music artists Ulf Wakenius and Youn Sun Nah. His technical mastery of the accordion is impressive enough, but he couples this with a strong sense of humor and of musicality. He opens and closes Thrill Box with stunning solo performances of "Choral" and Joseph Canteloube's "Bailero." Both tunes demand control and precision from the performer: Peirani shows that he has both skills in abundance as well as the maturity required to maximise the tunes' emotional impact.

Things can get a little more upbeat when the accordionist is joined by bassist Michel Benita of Trio Libero and pianist Michael Wollny of [em]. "Upbeat" mustn't be confused with "up-tempo": the characteristic pace of the music remains languid and relaxed, but the mood lightens and a feeling of joy emanates from the players whether they're performing a gentle waltz (Brad Mehldau's "Waltz For JB") or a spiky bebop classic (Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You").

Benita is in masterful form throughout, never playing two notes if one will suffice—and always playing the right one. Wollny complements Peirani's accordion melodies with some delightful melodic phrasing of his own—his playing on "Waltz For JB" is superb—and also adds depth with his rhythmic chordal playing.

Peirani digs deep into the roots of American music with versions of "Goodnight Irene" and "Shenandoah" that bring to the fore the inherent sense of longing at the center of both songs. "Goodnight Irene" is a duet between Benita's bass and Peirani's accordina (a small instrument that resembles a cross between accordion and harmonica): "Shenandoah" is a laid-back trio performance that's as spacious as the American landscape it evokes.

Joy is pretty much unconfined on "3 Temps Pour Michel P," Peirani's tribute to his guest Michel Portal. Portal's bass clarinet adds a rich texture to "B&H": his bandoneon on this tune combines with Peirani's accordion in a duet that's fun, funny and distinctly groovy. Throw in Peirani's enthusiastic vocalisation and the song becomes completely irresistible.

An accordion may not be everyone's idea of a Thrill Box but Peirani does more than enough to justify the album's title and this description of his instrument. The thrills may be more cerebral than visceral, but there are plenty of them—and it seems clear that he's got plenty more to come.


Track Listing: Bailero; Waltz For JB; Hypnotic; Goodnight Irene; B&H; Air Song; 3 Temps Pour Michel P; Shenandoah; I Mean You; Throw It Away; Balkanski Cocek; Choral.

Personnel: Vincent Peirani: accordion, accordina (4), vocals (3, 7); Michael Wollny: piano, Fender Rhodes (6); Michel Benita: bass; Michel Portal: bass clarinet (5), bandoneon (7); Emile Parisien: soprano saxophone (6, 11).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: ACT Music


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Unfolding In Tempo" CD/LP/Track Review Unfolding In Tempo
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Ida Y Vuelta" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Y Vuelta
by James Nadal
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "El Toro" CD/LP/Track Review El Toro
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Woodclock" CD/LP/Track Review Woodclock
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Things Are Looking Up" CD/LP/Track Review Things Are Looking Up
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!