Michael Wollny and Vincent Peirani: Tandem


Opening piece Song Yet Untitled is something of a surprise: the pairing of German pianist Michael Wollny and French accordionist Vincent Peirani produces a sound you’re not expecting.

There’s jazz/classical piano and accordion, with an overall sound like Last Of The Summer Wine if not on steroids at least some strong coffee and a Gauloise. The accordion gives it a pensiveness that matches the autumnal mood of the harmonica on the Summer Wine theme. Presumably that was meant to convey the theme of men approaching the grave but still having fun, a sense of life tempered by knowledge of how little time remains. Song Yet Untitled leans towards the classical and provides the same comforting sound.

The pensiveness continues with a stripped back cover of Barber’s Adagio For Strings (voted as the saddest classical work by listeners of the BBC’s Today programme in 2004), in which the two instruments blend perfectly. Elsewhere, there’s a good cover of Björk’s Hunter.

Overall, it’s more classical than jazz though some pieces, such as the slow Sirenes, have a solid jazz feel to them, and there’s some good jazz piano — and an accordion solo — in the faster Uniskate. There’s a middle European folk feel in places. The sound has a definite charm. It’s a good album to play right now, its mood suiting blustery and cold autumnal days.

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