2013 Honorable Mention Pick 13

Maurizio Minardi: The Cook The Clown The Monk and the Accordionist (Belfagor Label, 2013)

I’m prejudiced towards the accordion — I think it’s a cool instrument.  If you don’t like accordion music you probably won’t dig this record.

The instrumentation here is accordion, piano, violin, bass and drums.  I would say the energy on this record is high but not manic.  It’s melodic as you would expect from this instrumenation, but it’s not a straight jazz record.  The group sounds like they’re playing tunes, but there are sections that change the tunes that really engage the listener.

There are gypsy music strains woven into this record, there are cartoon/movie soundtrack  sounding tunes, and there are just pretty ass tunes like Five is Better than Four.

Here’s a live version of the tune I just namechecked, Five is Better than Four.

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