The Free-Reed Review
Critiques of Compact Discs, Books and Music Scores

CD Review: Jean-Pierre Guiran and Cherie de Boer
L'imparfait du Coeur

Jean-Pierre Guiran and Cherie de Boer, accordions


Beguine des reves brises - L. Asselbergs 3:17
L'indifference (J. Colombo / T. Murena) 3:11
Aurore (F. Lafertin) 4:03
La Vie en Rose (Louiguy) 1:35
Feliz Viage (J. (Shon Coco) Palm) 4:21
Ma Premiere Guitare (S. Distel) 3:49
La Mer (C. Trenere & A. Lasry) 2:09
La Nena (L. Kallaf) 2:30
Choro Do Adeus (L. Almeida) 3:26
El Choclo (A.G. Villoldo) 3:09
Passe compose (J.P. Guiran) 3:03
El Diabolo Suelto (trad.) 3:16
L'imparfait du coeur (J.P. Guiran) 3:11
Uno (E.S. Discepolo-M. Mores / arr. M. Salina) 2:13
Coeur Vagabond (J. Colombo) 2:28
Miserlou (trad. Greek) 2:52

total time: 49:05
release date: 1998
review date: January 2000

label: Sterkenburg Records - Holland (Stam001)
Order from: J. P. Guiran
Langbroekerdijk 14, 3972 ND
Driebergen, the Netherlands
tel +31-343-533787
fax +31-343-533845

Review by Thomas Fabinski

Cherie was born in Jakarta of Indonesian and Dutch lineage. Jean-Pierre was born in 1957 into a home where they spoke in Dutch and sang in French. After a 15 year hiatus from the accordion, Cherie performed with a friend's group in Utrecht. The group included Jean-Pierre. And as she said, "The first time I heard him playing the accordion I recognized my own approach to the music in his interpretation." The result was seventeen years together, physically, spiritually and musically. And their music is equally easy to live with!

Jean-Pierre gave up studying physics the first time he picked up an accordion. (The meson's lost is the musette's gain!) And there can be no disputing his claim that he's a natural accordionist. Or as he puts it, "I squeeze for a living!" And in response to Cherie, he says "It is Cherie's authenticity and the way she utilizes dynamics in melodies that appeals to me."

Jean-Pierre and Cherie are based musically (and geographically) near Driebergen in the Netherlands, an area brimming with castles. They use the peace, tranquility and nature of their surroundings to create their music. My sense is that they move forward musically by looking back across time. And although they claim that their choice of instrument or repertoire is not the essence of their art, it is clear that both are in love with their instrument and their musical selections.

This CD mainly features South American and French tunes but also includes Antillean waltzes (5 and 12), a Colombian composition (8), a Brazilian arrangement of a semi-classic guitar duet (9) and a Greek traditional song (16).

This is a charming, intimate portrait of two musicians in love with each other and their music. I believe the title translates to "Imperfections of the Heart." There is no vocal accompaniment. The tunes are airy with no attempt made to fill up every musical space. The result is a very light, atmospheric delicacy. The sounds are warm, delicate and graceful, like fresh baked bread. Make that fresh, French-baked bread.

J-P and Cherie achieve their musical intimacy with less notes, less effort and less technical flair. But sometimes less is more and this is so much more. They let the melodies and their phrasing do the selling of the music. The result is a sense of being drawin into this CD as the aromas waft into your consciousness.

J-P and Cherie might not know this but in America we have a national restaurant franchise which until a few years ago played accordion music over their sound system. Coincidentally (or paradoxically), their food quality and service seemed to decline around the same time that they discontinued the accordion music. May I suggest that the restaurant franchise play the music of Accordion Melancolique over their sound systems to help revive their business!

There is no affectation or pretense in J-P's music whether he performs with Cherie, Bubblin' Toorop or Polytour. Indeed, all that's left of the Hohner nameplate on his accordion is the H and R. But it's all about the sound and not facile good looks.

This CD was chosen the Best Accordion CD of 1999 by the Swedish Accordion magazine, DRAGSPELS NYTT. Accordion Melancolique performed for Bill and Hilary Clinton in 1997.

Click on to check out some audio samples.

By the way, the cover art is courtesy of Cherie!

About The Free-Reed Review
Invitation to Contributors / Submission Guidelines

Back to The Free-Reed Review Contents Page

Back to The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. Home Page