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Emigre


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Émigré
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: E1 Entertainment Dist ***
  • ASIN: 555019211X
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on March 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
. . . but still eminently listenable.
I first encountered Ted Reichman in that fabulous disc I, Claudia by the Claudia Quintet. A multi-instrumentalist whose main ax is the accordion (here he also plays guitar, Hammond organ, percussion, piano, pump organ, and zither), on Emigre he has created a kind of sound track to the life of Jewish Hungarian emigre photographer, Andre Kertesz. With the individual numbers forming a kind of snapshot of Kertesz' life circumstances, Reichman has produced an ambitious suitelike work of considerable power mixing traditional Jewish, klezmer, European classical, cabaret, and chamber jazz elements--though, as he also has a distinct Downtown streak, everything's kinda tweaked, nothing sounds completely normal. And that's good, because whenever things seem in danger of sinking into the merely evocative, they're rescused by this aural friskiness: weird instruments (bass harmonica, zither), weirdly voiced normal instruments (clarinet, viola, drums), and normally voiced normal instruments that stand out by virtue of their normality amid all this weirdness.
As there's a programatic aspect to this music, it covers a wide ranging emotional landscape, from innocence ("Elizabeth and I") to spookiness ("Szigetbecse") to tranquility ("Martinique") to relinquishment ("Provence, 1979"). I admit I wasn't all that taken with this disc the first couple times I heard it. But I've learned to give music a chance, to ditch wrong preconceptions, to seek proper access, and then when I've found it, to genuinely enjoy it. A very enthusiastic five stars.
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