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Astor In Paris

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Album Review

Things have changed dramatically since 3 Leg Torso released their self-titled debut album in 1998. Back then they were a trio, and although original member and cellist Gabe Leavitt has since departed (he still appears on four tracks here), the group have now expanded into a quintet with the addition of bassist Michael Papillo, drummer Gary Irvine, and xylophone/percussionist Thomas Mackay. Inevitably, then, the new look of Leg have a fuller and more complex sound than their previous incarnation, and with the further addition of five guest musicians, the group explore even more intriguing musical directions, a new Technicolor flowering to accompany their cinematic styling. Musically, the band's reach is vast, encompassing everything from Latin rumbas to Russian folksongs and Balkan mazurkas to somber chamber music.

However, it's Mackay that has opened up the most amusing new vistas, his loony tune-esque xylophone running wild through cartoon soundscapes with exuberant abandon. The majority of the pieces, though, focus on Bela Balogh's emotive violin and Courtney Von Drehel's equally evocative accordion, which provide the heart and soul of the band's sound. All told it makes for a sumptuous album of many moods, each one unique and utterly enjoyable.

Customer Reviews

DO NOT Miss This Album

One of my all-time favorite groups! The performance by each musician is perfection, they are true artists. As another member of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, I had the excellent luck to accompany 3 Leg Torso in concert! I have to say, though, I like them better by themselves...

3 Leg Torso -> 10/10!!!!

Hi, I would just like to say these guys are awsome! I know most of them personally and they are just as awsome in person as they are in thier music, I am part of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony of Portland, and we are performing with them and it is always my favorite concert to perform in because the 3 Leg Torso brings out so much joy and fun out of the music!! 10 out of 10!!!

More Like This Please!

3 Leg Torso takes us on a lush and varied musical journey on thier 2nd CD. Their forays into Nuevo Tango, Klezmer, Jazz, Latin and somehow even a Country Blues seem like a natural mix here. With all the variety of styles, the unique and tight compostitions and excellent playing hold it all together. In the current trend of idiosyncratic bands that feature an accordion and violin, this band stands out as frontrunner.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Originally an instrumental trio, featuring violinist Bela Balogh, cellist Gabe Leavitt, and accordionist Courtney Von Drehle, 3 Leg Torso is one of Portland, OR's truly eclectic bands. Their original tunes incorporate elements of modern chamber music, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European folk music, and Argentinean tango. CMJ described the group's sound as "all the beauty of Astor Piazzolla's music and the spirit of the Kronos Quartet." Portland Online Musicnet claimed their music "seems to be a...
Full Bio
Astor In Paris, 3 Leg Torso
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Customer Ratings