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John Convertino

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John Convertino is better known as one half of the gifted Calexico and also drummer for Giant Sand. As a composer he is known for his dreamshaped accordion pieces, lilting piano meditations on Satie, silent and beautiful cornerstones within Calexico’s oeuvre. Now there is Ragland, his first solo album, recorded at his home in Tucson, Arizona using nothing but two micraphones, a solitary piano, vibes and a drumset all recorded onto a small 8-track analogue recorder. Ragland is Monk playing Eno high on Verdi. It’s broken ambient music; twelve instrumentals that are beautiful, dark and often take brutal turns. Arpeggios from an old piano set the beat and the progress of chord changes search for light and relief. This is a monumental piano-led album, challenging this most moving of genres into a more emotionally varied trawl through ups and downs, all within this master-musician’s unique genreless vision.

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