CD sleeve photos of accordion chameleon Guy Klucevsek wearing five different hats belie still more corners to his persona. A 2010 Collins Fellowship gave Klucevsek an opportunity to compile his favorite music styles with help from Dave Douglas, Kenny Wollesen and associates from polka and Texas swing traditions.
Klucevsek keeps his tour short and sweet with several tracks under two minutes, tipping one or other hat to Bulgarian accordionist Ivan Milev, Basque trikitixa great Kepa Junkera, colleague Lars Hollmer plus Martin Denny, Erik Satie and dancer Sandy Silva. Humor busts through Klucevesek's joyful eclecticism and the upbeat polyphony of his squeeze box, here via Satie's wryness, there via reference to a disparaging accordion joke. Slovenian/Armenian waltzes are represented but South American tango traditions ostensibly bypassed; this isn't cultural tourism but closer to home, though the desert-bound "Pink Elephant" sounds more Middle Eastern than Balkan. Multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Barnes, listed on "ocarina, bag o' birds, harmonica, ukelele" and pictures on bass saxophone, is resourceful, as is versatile co-producer Carl Finch.
The disc starts hot with the feel Bulgarian beats of "Breathless And Bewildered" punctuated by tuba and tenor banjo. "Waltz for Sandy" takes a mood shift after the circuitous melody, adding a cameo from John Hollenbeck on drums and xylophone. "Laedereld" is Hopalong Cassidy territory, featuring Ginny Mac, the leader, on melodica and Finch on mouth percussion; "Hymnopedie No. 2," a play on Satie's influence, is a chaste feature for Douglas. Cheese mixes with heartfelt nostalgia, Klucevsek the ringmaster often surrendering limelight to fellow undersung musicians.
—Michael Jackson, Downbeat
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