Jean-Louis Matinier & Kevin Seddiki
Jean-Louis Matinier (accordion) and Kevin Seddiki (guitar) first worked together as part of a supporting trio a decade ago – this marks their first work together as a duo (and its Seddiki’s debut for ECM).
This quite extraordinary duo/duets album features only the primary instruments of Matinier and Seddiki – in a lush, intimate recording that allows each musician, in true-duo format, to take turns to shine and to carry the emotional heft of tunes that date back to traditional fare (Greensleeves) and classical (Faure) as well as new originals that stem folk, jazz, flamenco and the neo-classical touchpoints in-between.
Recorded in 2018 and released just now this is two master musicians at work together. There’s something noirish and filmic about some of the pieces here (La chanson d’Helene), at other times a rhythmic loop is established in real (reel) time (In C) and explored across the melodic shifts from the accordion and guitar alternating in lead and supporting roles.
Hypnotic melodies (Derivando) and joyous rhythms (Feux follets) entwine – as these short pieces never outstay their welcome.
I’m reminded, in places, of the wonderful Al Di Meola Plays Piazolla record – though I’d liken Seddiki’s fine playing to Ralph Towner’s sublime grasp of folk and jazz shadings. Seddiki bringing far more flamenco to the table than either Di Meola or Towner.
And Matinier is such a master, his accordion taking the place at various times of bass guitar and piano, of violin and dueling second guitar. He issues soft drones and warm cascades of harmonious drift; his deft and dexterous playing is at the heart and soul of this sound.
I’ve found a new favourite album – that also feels like the very best soundtrack to a film I’ll never see.
You can support Off The Tracks via PressPatron