Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Button Box and the Mory

Disaster Narrowly Averted

Castagnari Mory.
A thing of beauty. A wonder to behold.
I was working with a school in Western Mass. last week, so I decided to swing by the Button Box. Had a good talk with Doug while playing his stock. I had no money and he knew I had no money. And he showed me this accordion that had just arrived as a trade in. It was a Castagnari Mory (GC). "Here," says Doug, "Can you try this out for me?" It hadn't even made it onto the website, yet. I played it and ... who knew that such a thing of beauty could exist in the world? It was amazing to both the fingers and the ears. I left feeling the distinctive cracks of a heart breaking. My heart.

As I drove home I started concocting a plan ... steeped in the intoxicating memory of the Mory ... I could trade in ALL OF MY ACCORDIONS for that one. I could be happy! I could make this work! It's a crazy old world, but sometimes, things work out! Right?

My daughter, Emma, stopped me. "You can't do that, Dad. The band. Your band. You love your band. You need all those accordions for the band."

Yes. Yes. I love my band. Le Bon Truc. The good stuff.

Doug and the Mory*

Sure. He looks unassuming. Mostly harmless.
The fevre dream did not abate, however. And perhaps Doug knew that.

Sure, he looks nice. Innocent. Maybe even charming. But that was some seriously, sinister salesmanship. "Here," he said, "Could you try this out for me?" As if to say, "I don't want to be an imposition." Or, "You'd sure be doing me a favor." Or, "I know this is a burden for you ..." but could you play this unbelievably wonderful accordion and let me know how it feels?

Yeah. Yeah, Doug. I can do that.

The Castagnari Mory has held a totemic power over me for over twenty years. The first tradFrench music I heard was from Ad Vielle Que Pourra, led accordionist/hurdy gurdy-ist Daniel Thonon. Daniel played a Mory and I was completely ensorceled by that sound. And I get it! I swear to God, I get it! The instrument does not make the player. I wasn't listening to a Mory, I was listening to Daniel Thonon playing a Mory. Later, I would hear other players playing wonderfully on other boxes. But that Mory stuck with me. Then, I found out that Andy Cutting also plays a Mory (he owned three when I asked him) ... I'm pretty sure I don't have to justify the desire for an accordion to you, fair reader. All I'm saying is that the Mory has been a grail-shaped-beacon for me for many years.

Disaster Embraced, Quality of Life Improved

Skip to the end, the Castagnari Mory is winging its way to my house, even as I type. How did I get to this state?

Le Bon Truc. We love each other.
Well, it wasn't that I had to break down and succumb to temptation, so much as getting a clue as to what my priorities ought to be. My friends brought me around. First, my band mates -- Le Bon Truc -- each said something along the lines of, "Hey, if you wanna do this we will support you!" and "Follow your bliss!" Then I did the math and realized that I wouldn't really have to trade ALL of my accordions, just two of them. Then, through karma and generosity, that number was reduced to one.

Not only was this possible. It was reasonable. My heart fluttered a bit.

Every accordionist is chasing after THE LAST ACCORDION THEY WILL EVER HAVE TO BUY. It is a mythical creature, and we all recognize that. But this mythical creature haunts us. The Mory had been that creature for me for twenty years -- think of that! where were you twenty years ago?

I will report more when it arrives. Thanks, all.


*Disclaimer: I am only joking! I have known Doug for twenty years, now, and he has never been anything other than a great guy, reasonable and kind. A good friend. Still, he knew exactly what he was doing when he brought that box out.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two Frédéric Paris Mazurkas

I'm going through a mazurka binge -- that's for sure. Also, I always have room in my heart for Frédéric Paris. These two tunes come from the La Chavannée tune book. They are humble, unnamed mazurkas that are infectious in the way that La Chavannée tunes usually are.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

5 Mazurkas by Decombel

Jack Humphries, a buddy over at mel.net recorded this lovely video of himself playing five mazurkas by guitarist Maarten Decombel. Here's what Jack has to say, "My favourites by the great Maarten Decombel, a guitarist who writes tunes so good to play on the accordeon: Tuileries, 1/11, Vappu, Ostendaise, Geliefden, Tuileries."

Enjoy!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

French Polkas!

From our gig at Jay's Last Church on the Left, in Portland, Maine.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Le Bon Truc Rehearsal Recordings!

Look! We smile! We're happy!
Trio Le Bon Truc has been have a very good year, I have to say. Well ... I don't have to, I want to! There's been this sense among us three that our four year communion continues to deepen and satisfy. In preparation for a gig in Portland, ME at The Last Church on the Left, we've been putting some thought into the "next stage" of our repertoire. We know a lot of tunes, holy cow! Meanwhile, I got the Ab Tiny Box, and that's been fun for us.

Bourrées Tricotada, Va-ten Va-ten, Grandes Poteries


As I have said in the past, I do take a phenomenological approach to music and think we all should. To that end, I am posting three of our rehearsal recordings. They are NOT polished performances, and, in fact, the Bourrées and Polkas may have been our first time playing those sets ever. In all cases, they start out rougher than they end, but they end in some very sweet spots. They interesting as "rehearsal artifacts," but they are also ... sweet. This is probably not all that swift as marketing, but ... if nothing else, you can hear the good time we are having.

Polkas Quartier and de Baugy


Charlie/La Sansonette (Scottishes)