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Accordion Crimes

Artist: Karen Street

Date of Release: 01/01/2004

Catalogue no: ATKS0402

Label: Big Shed Music

Price: £12

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Accordion Crimes

7.39

2

 

Mount Harissa

7.43

3

 

When a Knight Won His Spurs

4.28

4

 

Under Suspicion

10.47

5

 

Remembered

5.32

6

 

Which Way Up

6.39

7

 

Dangerous Dancing

10.35

8

 

Hymn

2.18

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Stan Sulzmann

Karen’s reputation as a jazz accordionist and brilliant composer gathers momentum with this her second CD. Brilliant and resouceful musical support comes from Stan Sulzmann on saxophone, Fred T. Baker, bass and guitar and Mike Outram, guitar

Title -Accordion Crimes features Karen Street on accordion, Fred Thelonius Baker on guitar and electric bass and Stan Sulzmann on Soprano Saxophone and flute:

 

Reviews

 

03/03/2005 The Musician

With an artful cover sleeve of Cluedo pieces and its intriguing title. This album evokes late nights. Lonely streets, an aura of shady dealings and world-weary detectives from the first moment of listening. Crying out for use in a murder mystery, the title track pulls down the brim of its hat flicks its collar and narrows its eyes before luring you into a dark corner. Supported by the cool guitar of Mike Outram, together with sax king Stan Sulzmann and Fred T Baker on bass, composer and masterful accordionist Karen has created a work of great skill and variety.
Together with her first CD Finally …..a beginning, Accordion Crimes cements Karen’s standing as one of the most evocative and dexterous accordionists in the country. Folk jazz at its unique best.

 

01/01/2005 Kenny Mathieson

Karen Street lifted the title of her latest disc from the book of the same name by novelist E.Annie Proulx, but some folks would have you believe that all accordion playing is an offence. Karen Street is nothing if not dedicated to her often maligned instrument, however, and her partners in crime – saxophonist Stan Sulzmann, guitarist Mike Outram and bassist Fred Baker – provide excellent support for her inventions on the box. That combination of instruments works very effectively both in terms of timbre and musical texture and in the evocation of mood. Although accordion is primarily regarded as a folk instrument in this country , she comes at the music with a jazz sensibility and a strong influence from both central European and south American styles on the instrument. She includes the Ellington-Strayhorn composition ‘Mount Harissa’ and one traditional tune, ‘When a Knight Won his Spurs’, alongside a half-dozen of her own atmospheric compositions.

 

01/12/2004 Dave Gelly The Observer

"This is one of the most charming and unexpected releases of the season. Karen Street has evolved an entire vocabulary for the accordion that works beautifully in the jazz context without forfeiting the instrument’s awkward individuality. It hasn’t happened overnight as anyone has heard her work with Mike Westbrook, Tim Garland and others will know, but the firm confidence of this set establishes a whole new standard".

 

01/12/2004 John Fordham – The Guardian

"For all the broadening of what constitutes jazz instrumentation, the accordion still isn’t widely used, and is still considered a rarity. The UK’s Karen Street first surfaced in the jazz world in Tim Garland’s folk jazz band Lammas and on this set she commits her own compositions to jazz variations from a fine group featuring Stan Sulzmann, guitarist Mike Outram and bassist Fred Thelonious Baker.

Street is a superb textural player, an affecting composer and a thoughtful accompanist. Some of the music is folksy, some suggestive of an old Stan Getz jazz-samba, some is Kurt Weillian, but all of it is lyrical.

Sulzmann is in relaxed and inventive form smoking and flaring on the slowly gliding title track, hooting like a tenor-sax Johnny Hodges on the Ellington/Strayhorn piece Mount Harissa, shaping his narrative subtly in Getz-like mode on Which Way Up".

 

01/12/2004 Jazz UK

It’s always risky to call something a ‘first’, but I can’t think of any other jazz record with a line-up of accordion, tenor sax, guitar and bass. But that’s the group assembled by Karen Street, and it’s not only a unique sound, but features some fine playing by individuals who evidently rose to the occasion. Musicians who have given the accordion a genuine voice are rare, but Karen Street is undoubtedly among them.

 

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