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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Accordion Tribe

By Marty Lipp
Published March 16, 2007

Lunghorn Twist
(Intuition INT 33892)

While there are still a few lunkheads out there dissing the accordion, a growing number of musicians quite deftly play the maligned squeezebox, pushing it into new territory and adding to the repertoire. The five members of this tribe—Slovenia’s Bratko Bibic, Sweden’s Lars Hollmer, Finland’s Maria Kalaniemi, America’s Guy Klucevsek and Austria’s Otto Lechner—have all made careers of iconoclasm, breaking barriers between classical, jazz and folk. On this, their third album as Accordion Tribe, they perform in various formations, playing original compositions with virtually no other instrumentation. The tunes are more concert hall than dance hall; intellectually interesting if sometimes lacking the populist spirit of traditional music. Several cuts capture real interactive magic, while a few have the whiff of academia. Fans of contemporary accordion should grab the album right away, but others might wish for wider instrumentation and be better off checking out the artists’ individual projects.