Naïm Amor – John Convertino
The Western Suite and Siesta Songs
Naïm Amor of Amor Belhom Duo and John Convertino, drummer with Calexico have created a beautiful and haunting instrumental work with The Western Suite and Siesta Songs, one that owes as much to setting- the desert Southwest- as to the performers. Convertino, trapped in dreary, midwinter Ohio, began a tape swap with Amor, located in Tucson and the result is this atmospheric collection of songs.
Traces of Calexico are unavoidable perhaps, with Convertino plying accordion, vibes and piano in addition to his drumming, while Amor uses a nylon string as well as electric guitars, pedal steel and even a melodica to shape the sonic footprint of the 12 cuts. They range from the evocative “Round Em Up” to the exotic with “Jelly Roll Tango”. There is a sense of a motion picture soundtrack (ala Ry Cooder’s Paris, Texas perhaps) feel at points, you can imagine slow tracking shots as the laconic music unfolds. Echoy piano centers “Rye Grass Waltz” while Amor’s sparse electric fills add atmosphere. Bassist Thøger Lund adds a deepening presence, keeping the airy numbers somewhat grounded.
This is an exquisitely scenic record, one that listening to on headphones makes you feel at one with the high desert, even if you can’t make it back West. Naïm Amor and John Convertino have fashioned a remarkable work that breathes a rarified air on The Western Suite and Siesta Songs. Join them.