Guy Klucevsek & Alan Bern: Notefalls (2007)
It is almost like a joke, "What do you get when you cross two accordionists? In this case, Notefalls. Accordionists Guy Klucevsek and Alan Bern join forces for this unique duet recording where the two alchemists eutect church organs, bagpipes and pianos in an extravaganza that licks every corner of the musical planet.
The disc opens with a two-part suite, "Deep Blue C, where Klucevsek and Bern evoke medieval church music blended with Polish wedding music and Zydeco. The two employ the bagpipe drone to a splendid effect, conjuring Celtic images of green and blue. The two do not restrict themselves just to the squeezeboxes. "Don't Let the Boogie-Man Get You sports Bern on piano playing the blues and dueling with Klucevsek's accordion.
Once the listener thinks they are firmly in the American South, the pair spin out "Plain and Fancy that emotes an Irish pastoral dance, a shamrock soundtrack for poets and saints. The disc has two other suites, one by each of the principles. Bern's "Sideways is an eleven-part series that effectively summons a spirit of minimalism sounding strongly reminiscent of Philip Glass one minute and then like a Bach organ piece ("Turning/Pendulum ) the next.
Klucevsek's "Notefalls: A Musical Day Book possesses a potent Americana, the same American produced so convincingly by Virgil Thomson and Aaron Copland but with out rote incorporation of old fold tunes. Klucevsek fashions his composition from the Thomson/Copland mold, producing fresh and resilient music, with a tango thrown in. One can never listen to too much accordion music.
Track Listing: Deep Blue C: Part I, Part II; Don't let the Boogie-Man Get You; Plain 'n' Fancy; March of the Wild Turkey Hens; Desiccated Desert Desserts. Sideways: Swaying; Duet; Quartet; Slow quartet; Turning/pendulum; Fast duet; Crossing; Waltz; Final quartet; Finale; Swaying reprise. Notefalls: A Musical Day Book: Gathering (1/30/06); Valentine for B.B. (1/26/06); Satango (1/25/06); Pitch-Black (for M.M.) (1/27/06); Lily-White (2/3/06); The Silence (1/23/06).
Personnel: Guy Klucevsek: accordion, piano; Alan Bern: accordion, melodica, piano, MIDI keyboard.