Vincent Peirani – Living Being II (Night Walker) (2018)

Vincent Peirani - Living Being II (Night Walker) (2018)
Artist: Vincent Peirani
Album: Living Being II (Night Walker)
Genre: Contemporary Jazz
Origin: France
Released: 2018
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Bang Bang (3:26)
Enzo (4:29)
Le clown sauveur de la fête foraine (2:44)
What Power Art Thou (5:56)
Kashmir To Heaven: Opening (3:53)
Kashmir To Heaven: Kashmir (5:41)
Kashmir To Heaven: Stairway To Heaven (3:27)
Night Walker (6:55)
K2000 (1:43)
Falling (4:40)
Unknown Chemistry (6:16)
Smoke & Mirrors (4:43)


Led Zeppelin and the accordion is an unlikely pairing, but then so is a collection that mixes the compositions of Robert Plant, John Bonham and Jimmy Page with Sonny Bono. Nice, France native and multi-instrumentalist Vincent Peirani has recorded five albums as a leader/co-leader for ACT Records. Living Being ll—Night Walker is the follow up to Living Being (2015), and features the same quintet with the addition of electronics artist Valentin Liechti, who appears briefly on the last of its twelve tracks.

Peirani has classical training and has been playing accordion in a jazz setting since his teen years. He has worked in a parallel career as a mixing engineer. It was in that capacity that he participated in projects with two generations of rock legends—Deep Purple and Rage Against the Machine—and thus his affinity for rock and jazz has a long history. Peirani has performed and/or recorded with cellist Vincent Courtois, drummer Daniel Humair and reed multi-instrumentalist Louis Sclavis, amongst many other European jazz artists.

The group does a good job of taking Bono’s “Bang Bang” from prosaic pop tune to melancholy lamentation. Peirani’s subsequent originals, “Enzo,” “Le Clown Sauveur De La Fete Foraine” and “What Power Art Thou,” gradually build in momentum, the latter piece featuring an excellent saxophone solo from Emile Parisien. The centerpiece of the album, “Kashmir To Heaven,” begins a trilogy with Peirani’s elegiac introduction, “Opening,” leading into the Plant/Bonham/Page classic “Kashmir” and on to “Stairway to Heaven.” Both are fine versions of these Zeppelin songs: neither jazz nor rock but an equivocal fusion style. The title track and ensuing “K2000” are rock/jazz fusions, while the final three tracks are quieter pieces with strong European folk influences.

The nature of Peirani’s instrumentation and his choice of material make Living Being ll—Night Walker (available in vinyl, CD and digital formats) an interesting and engaging album. His accordion and accordina (essentially, a melodica) are a natural fit for the more European-styled pieces but also work well on the exotic sound of “Kashmir.” His band, especially Parisien and bassist Julien Herné, bring a jazz sensibility to pieces that waver and blur lines between genres.