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).

Album information

Title: Thrill Box | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: ACT Music

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

View events near Paris
Jazz Near Paris
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Read A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park
Jerry Cook Quartet +
Read New Aurora
New Aurora
Michael Sarian
Read Unnavigable Tributaries
Unnavigable Tributaries
Vicente / Brice / Sanders
Read How To turn the Moon
How To turn the Moon
Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell
Read The Path
The Path
Chien Chien Lu
Read Golden Daffodil
Golden Daffodil
Leslie Beukelman
Read Message from Groove and GW
Message from Groove and GW
The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band
Read Duos & Trios
Duos & Trios
Armaroli - Schiaffini - Sjostrom

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place 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 effort that will help musicians 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 bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.