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Guy Klucevsek: Breathless and Bewildered

innova Recordings on December 12, 2011 16:31

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    innova 819. January 2012 release

    If there’s one adverb-adjective combo that can describe composer/accordionist Guy Klucevsek, it’s unabashedly eclectic. Over the course of twenty-one releases, his music has combined the heart-pounding rhythms of eastern Europe with teeming contrapuntal passages, gorgeous melodies, and Klucevsek’s own “trailblazing virtuosity” [-Wall Street Journal]. But his twenty-second release, The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour, might be his most ambitious yet.

    It’s a global tour, a worldwide tribute to the composers and musicians who have shaped him as a creative artist. From France to Bulgaria to Spain, he pays homage to Erik Satie and the Swingle Singers, Ivan Milev, and Basque trikitixa maestro, Kepa Junkera. On “The C&M Waltz” and “Moja Baba Je Pijana,” Klucevsek harks back to the Slovenian-American polkas and waltzes of his childhood, while Martin Denny’s exotica gets a nod on “O’O.” Middle Eastern pop even creeps in in the form of “Pink Elephant.”

    But he couldn’t have done it alone. The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour is very much a group effort, made possible by a generous United States Artists Collins Fellowship. Carl Finch co-produced six of the tracks, and performed on them with his group, Brave Combo, winners of two Grammy awards for Best Polka Album. Featured on these tracks are two accordion prodigies, Alex Meixner (whose Polka Freak Out was nominated for a Grammy) and exciting young Texas Swing specialist Ginny Mac.

    In addition to these special guests, the album features Klucevsek’s longtime Charms of the Night Sky bandleader, trumpeter Dave Douglas and an all-star cast of New York City’s finest musicians: singers Jo Lawry (currently on tour with Sting), fellow innova artist Theo Bleckmann and Peter Eldridge; drummers John Hollenbeck and Kenny Wollesen; Marcus Rojas on tuba; Pete Donovan on bass; Steve Elson on clarinet and saxes; and Brandon Seabrook on tenor banjo and acoustic guitar.

    Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists. He has performed and/or recorded with Accordion Tribe, Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Alan Bern, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Rahim al Haj, Robin Holcomb, Kepa Junkera, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Present Music, Relâche, John Williams, Zeitgeist, and John Zorn.

    He has premiered over 50 solo accordion pieces, including his own, as well as those he has commissioned from Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, Lois V Vierk, and John Zorn. He has also appeared on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

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