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

CD Review: Guy Klucevsek
Altered Landscapes: American Music, Bacharach to Cage

Guy Klucevsek: Free Bass Accordion, Standard Accordion, Bass Accordion, Melodica


1. Henry Cowell: Iridescent Rondo In Old Modes
2. Amy Denio: Ohio Rhyming Sequel
3. Guy Klucevsek: Altered Landscapes
4. John Cage: Dream
5. Alvin Lucier: Music For Accordion With Slow Sweep Pure Wave Oscillators
6. Alan Hovhaness: Suite For Accordion

7. Guy Klucevsek: Accordion Misdemeanors
8. Burt Bacharach: Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My (Wives and Lovers) Head
9. Charlie Haden: Silence

total time: 63:50
released: 1998

label:Evva Records
Out of Print

Review by Ben Ohmart:

No one plays a composition like its own composer. If the title track, Altered Landscapes, has to wait until the 3rd song on the album, it's worth the wait. The tranquil tones going from left to right earphones set your mind to the dramatic speed up just ahead, over the rocks. You don't want to be typing up a review during the upcoming speeding traffic, unless you don't mind going back over Everything with the blitz of a spell check! No wonder Accordion Tribe picked Altered Landscapes as the opening track on their self-titled album. Were it a film, it would have everything: sex, death, afterlife, funeral expenses, will being read, and a wake you would want to condemn for all the joy it spreads.

Henry Cowell's Iridescent Rondo In Old Modes moves with fine young puppy pace, just stopping for a piddle on the paper now and then, but a great introduction to a fine composer and player. I'd really like to be a pirate after hearing all of this. Amy Denio's Ohio Rhyming Sequel, and Alvin Lucier's Music For Accordion With Slow Sweep Pure Wave Oscillations are two pieces I tend to skip over, being one of the many (?) unwashed who doesn't care for tones of minimalist grinding.

But this is a classical album, I would say, despite the fact that the words 'American Music' alone might conjure up different conceptions of what is expected of this album. Classical in its construction perhaps, without the great German beer songs you'd expect to be chugging away like a drunk bear walking a straight line. But moments in Alan Hovhaness' Suite For Accordion are fashionably interlaced with the traditionally somber and the sprite muse contained in a jar, the top all full of holes.

Accordion Misdemeanors, by my kinda Guy once again, shows the spirit of the kid in us all. This is the sort of song that will keep the accordion from growing unused and growing flowers in some dark attic. Follow this up with an interesting, hula-hoop on a chunky person Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head cover, and you've got one entertaining 64 minute cd that needs about 12 listens before it goes platinum on you. And that's a damn Good thing.

Dear Henry et. al.,

Well, I accessed the review of "Altered Landscapes" and was just tickled pink by both the contents and the style!

Sure, it's not your typical (whatever that is) reviewing style, but, gosh darn it all, it's got style, originality and personality to spare, and what more could one ask in this short life!

Bring on more gonzo accordion journalists!!!
Love it!!!!!
Guy K.

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