Guy Klucevsek has long been known as “the interesting accordion player,” the guy who found endless ways to make the squarest of instruments sound good. That’s not a knock against the squeezebox—in reality it’s mighty cool, the heart of such vibrant regional musics as New Orleans zydeco, Recife forro, and Mexican conjunto—I’ve just never heard anyone outside of those traditions push its limits like Klucevsek. He’s been a key player on New York’s eclectic scene, working extensively with folks like John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Zeena Parkins, Fred Frith, and Phillip Johnston—with whom he played in Chicago back in 2003—in both idiomatic and nonidiomatic contexts, and performing classical works by composers like Alvin Lucier and William Duckworth.    

His new album, Notefalls (Winter & Winter), is his second with fellow accordionist Alan Bern, best known as a member of the sophisticated klezmer group Brave Old World. It includes several suites commissioned by dance companies, but the rest of the material doesn’t sound much different. Klucevsek and Bern are stylistic polyglots, freely drawing upon all kinds of sources while maintaining gorgeous, meditative melodies and stunning harmonic interplay. Though Klucevsek sticks to the accordion, Bern juggles melodica, piano, and a MIDI keyboard, yet the music still sounds of a piece.    

Klucevsek will make a rare solo appearance this Saturday, August 4 at 5 PM as part of the Evanston Lakeshore Arts Festival.


Today’s playlist:

Guillermo Klein y Los Gauchos, Live in Barcelona (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Caroline Henderson, Love or Nothin’ (Stunt)
Various Artists, CCMIX: New Electroacoustic Music From Paris (Mode)
Omer Avital, Arrival (Fresh Sound World Jazz)