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4.0 out of 5 stars An under-appreciated gem, 28 Mar 2013
This review is from: Silk Road - Klaus Paier & Asja Valcic (Audio CD)
"Silk Road" is the latest in a fine line of contemporary duets of classical and/or folk-influenced jazz borne of unusual instrumental pairings which deserves much more publicity and praise than has been the case hitherto. Inevitably, it calls to mind the string of collaborations by cellist Anja Lechner and bandoneon player Dino Saluzzi albeit always with some or many other performers) and fares well in comparison.

Paier and Valcic is each, but in every different ways, an excellent, emotive and technically-gifted player but they flourish in unison. Somewhat paradoxically the Croatian Valcic taps into the central European classical tradition while Paier's accordion has a Balkan, folky feel which belies the comments of some reviewers that the notated form of the compositions might disappoint die-hard improvisation fans and, overall, there is a sprightliness and sense of life which elevates the music from some anachronistic conservatoire as exemplified by the playful, exotic "Waltz for Mama".

I am sure that Paier and Valcic will be fascinating to see live (where I hope they really cut loose) but "Silk Road" is a sophisticated thing of beauty on its own terms.
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Silk Road - Klaus Paier & Asja Valcic
Silk Road - Klaus Paier & Asja Valcic by Klaus Paier (Audio CD - 2013)
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