Motion Trio

Pictures from the Street [Asphalt Tango]

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The Motion Trio might well be aptly named, since their fingers must never stop moving. The three Polish accordionists work hard to expand the possibilities of the instrument and the format on their North American debut, Pictures from the Street, and very definitely succeed. "Train to Heaven" has some wonderfully interlinked lines and rhythms that work off and answer each other, while "Balkan Dance" shifts into complex rhythmic and melodic territory that the three handle with consummate ease. Inevitably there's a tango -- can one make an accordion album without one? -- well, two, in fact, that dip into Piazzolla territory by refusing to stick to the tried and true structure of the music. On "Scotsman" they shift into modal mood, making their instruments as plaintive as bagpipes, while the moody "Aide Jano" offers the chance for reflection. All three bandmembers are superb instrumentalists, capable of long, flying fingered runs. But even more than technique, they all approach the original music with imagination and conviction, and the intent to do something new with the accordion. Which they most certainly do. If you thought accordions began with "Lady of Spain" and ended with Astor Piazzolla, you've got a lovely shock ahead of you.

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