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Album Review

Evoking memories from a simpler time, bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons and accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier sing beautiful melodies through their instruments, supplemented by finely structured improvisations. The collaborations of Grappelli and Reinhardt come to mind, but only as influences, as the instant duo uses dramatic rhythmic touches, a more Eastern European feel, perhaps, and a Spanish or Latin influence to create something different. The results are light, to be sure, but never insubstantial. Easy listening characterizes them, too, but not in the popular sense of being simplistic. Rather, the lilting sounds mesmerize gently, a perfect companion for a ride in the country. Both Garcia-Fons and Matinier are comfortable with their instruments, each taking the lead, passing it back, and intertwining as one voice. There is an insistent jazz influence, or style, that permeates the whole, but the pieces are all originals, relying more on the unique rhythms than on any simple formula of heads and variations on themes. Some of the slower tunes, such as "Perpetua," feature an almost mournful, though majestic, solitude in which the soaring accordion imitates a violin, and the bass appears to be strummed like a guitar. In their notes, the musicians correctly compare their creations to that of a symphonic orchestra, the permutations of sound being broadly diversified within a traditional framework.

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Fuera, Renaud Garcia-Fons/Jean-Louis Matinier
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