Reflection of Memory, Mario Batelić

Reflection of Memory

In an era of rebirth of the accordion and the consequent increase in interest in the music played with this versatile instrument and the more frequent appearance of accordionists in diverse but quite popular bands (Bossa de novo, Brina, Čompe, Jararaja, Terrafolk, Katalena) and also intense and very fruitful persistence of of the veteran among the domestic bellowers, Bratko Bibič, we unexpectedly got an excellent and diverse album on which the main role belongs to this, in the past very despised instrument. Unexpectedly, because it originates from the so-called lo-fi production, away from large centres (Trbovlje), as a result of the activity of an experienced musician, who is rarely noticed by the media and above all, accompanied by an internationally recognized featured artist. The main group of accordionist Jure Tori is Orlek (Tori, born in 1975, is one of founders of the group and has been playing in it since he was 14!), an Austrian double bass player Ewald Oberleitner (born in 1937), in his homeland considered as jazz legend and an influential musician, who played with many well known names, such as Anthony Braxton and Chet Baker, to name just a few. On the album, there are eleven songs by Tori, where he occasionally borrows a motive known from folk or popular styles, such as boogie woogie, musette, waltz or rock’n’roll. What is so enthusiastic is the fact that none of the styles prevail. With a help of reliable Oberleitner, Tori has created a very distinctive authorial music, exceeding geographical and style boundaries. Musical pieces of the album, often minimalisticaly designed with occasionally barely heard playing, at times with a luxurious playing, that makes you believe you’re listening to a whole band, have the two musicians put together into a sonic and sound integrity in a noble way. The feeling of gentleness and melancholy is prevailing, the sound sometimes appears archaic, just like listening to a dusty record from before the first world war in a saloon in Paris or in Italian trattoria. The sliding across various styles and feelings is perfect, the compositions are smoothly passing from one to another, within the same song both musicians are playing exceptionally harmonized and focused. Slightly poetically oriented song titles (Dance of trees, Voyage of life, At the window) provide us with a perfect feel of this, Slovenian-Austrian tandem. Descriptions in the accompanying booklet complete the compositions as a free association on the song title. The description of Dance of trees says:”We keep on rushing…stop! Enjoy little things, that are offered to you.A walk.” Thoughts like this come to your mind when listening to the other compositions also, for they are composed in a well considered way. Their pace is slow, the emphasis is on dynamics, arrangements and on little things. It is clear that the virtuosity is the starting point and not the goal; considering the undoubted virtuosity of both musicians it’s even more clear that what they don’t play is just as much important as what they do play. A great CD that should be on the shelf of every fan of creative music, especially if he or she is tempted by harmonious music. The international distribution was taken over by Extraplatte, therefore we also look for an international feedback!

Mario Batelić



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