Andrea Parkins

Andrea Parkins


Knitting Factory

The accordion is one of those instruments that is always forced into these straitjacket-tight stylistic boxes. That is, we are conditioned to only anticipate accordion music in certain scenarios — klezmer, beer hall music, or that one unfortunate high-school talent show contestant. Parkins obliterates these expectations. This is the first reason why the music of Andrea Parkins makes me want to bludgeon myself to death for my ignorance.

The second reason is that I am firmly convinced that Parkins is developing a new musical language in Slippage , in both her lyrical accordion and piano work. I’m gushing, I know, but I feel honored to own this CD. Parkins’ understanding of organic, electronic, and fractured sound. Andrea Parkins works within the trio format here, with Briggan Krauss on saxophone and Kenny Wollesen on percussion. There are six solo pieces and six ensemble pieces on this record, perfect symmetry.

Parkins is not afraid to experiment and improvise, doubtless, but I am impressed by how well she retains control and focus throughout this record. Recurring motifs are precisely executed, with no aural space going to waste. Slippage is one of those records you actually keep coming back to, just in case you missed something really life-changing the first time around. When you hear the drums kick in on “local cosmography” to interlock perfectly with the accordion and sax, you’ll know exactly what I mean. And there’s a billion more tiny epiphanies where that came from.

Knitting Factory Works, 74 Leonard St., New York, NY 10013

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