Recensione Accordion Samurai su Irish Music Magazine Marzo 2012

Own Label
10 tracks, 50 minutes

Five fabulous exponents of the button box, this groups spans Europe from Finland to France, Ireland to Italy, and also Belgium for some reason. Kicking off with a track of accordion weirdness recalling Martin Green’s compositions, Accordion Samurai flows through French folk dances, Zydeco rhythms a la Boozoo Chavis, Irish hornpipes and reels, Italian renaissance rock, Balkan and Scandinavian sounds, and sultry southern European street music.
The Irish input comes from sparky squeezebox supremo Dave Munnelly. Known as the gullet from Belmullet - something like that, anyway - Mayo man Dave plays his own Blind Harbour and the traditional Carty’s Reel before a bravura performance of Eleanor Neary’s Hornpipe. He’s joined by various other box men: each track here is fronted by one or two Samurai, with some or all of the others playing back-up boxes. The accordion is not an instrument for the shy retiring type of musician, and this recording has more than its fair share of moments of madness, some verging on the genius of Esquivel. Take for instance the discordant harmonies on Eleanor Neary’s, stepping straight out of ’50’s B movie scores, evoking aliens and monsters and things that go diddly in the night.
Munnelly’s music is fine and dandy, especially dressed up in the trappings of continental accordion mayhem, but my favourite tracks here range further afield. The lovely crisp notes of Le Grand Cèdre pay homage to great Québecois maestros such as Philippe Bruneau and Tommy Duchesne. The traditional French De Delay Lo Ribatel has the lyrical charm of a waltz coupled with the drive of a bourree. Reel Finlandia, by Finnish youngster Markku Lepisto, is just loads of fun. The aptly named Last Waltz shows surprising delicacy from this quirky quintet, ending an intriguing album, which displays remarkable breadth and depth from a single instrument.
Accordion fans will love this, of course, and I think the rest of you will find plenty to enjoy here. If not, be thankful there’s only five of them.
Alex Monaghan



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