Vincent Peirani and Emile Parisien: Abrazo review – delightful and astonishing

Dave Gelly
·1-min read

The soprano saxophone has a sound that can switch in an instant from light and airy to bleak and lonely. The accordion is so full of potential sounds that it can turn a duo into a full orchestra. In the hands of this pair of virtuosi the two make perfect partners. Accordionist Peirani and saxophonist Parisien are stars of the jazz-influenced European music that is now an artform in its own right. It is claimed that they have played a thousand concerts together, which may explain why this is only their second album: they were too busy. Their first, Belle Époque (2014), drew on the spirit of pre-1914 France; this one celebrates the world of tango. It’s delightful and astonishing in equal parts, often at the same time. There’s a passage in their joint composition with Astor Piazzolla, Fuga Y Mysterio, when the two voices flutter around each other like a pair of butterflies, that is not only beautiful but a marvel of technique. Throughout all 10 tracks there are moments like this, when vintage melody (Temptation), forceful swing (Deus Xango) or sheer playfulness (Nouchka) come across with devastating aplomb.