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Chris (Off the Wall) Cortes

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maugein96

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Ive often wondered what to do with my feet when Im playing the box, but Chris has solved the issue. Im sure Ive also seen him playing a harmonica whilst squeezing the box. 

Dont know much about him, but he is a regular at all the Maugein events in Tulle. Hes nearly always guaranteed to do something a bit crazy during his performances, and typically customises the tunes so that they dont get boring. 

Do I like that? Not really sure, but he is an entertainer. If you dont like him you can just categorise him as One man who should be Banned.

 

Dingo40

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maugein96
Do I like that? Not really sure, but he is an entertainer. If you dont like him you can just categorise him as One man who should be Banned.


Hi John,
Thanks for the clip: loved it! Great entertainment and interpretation of the tune!
Now I know what a Maugein sounds like :)!
BTW, did it have one of those northern Italian bass layouts?
Also BTW, we are currently “enjoying” a 48 deg. Centigrade heatwave. :p Luckily, the humidity is less than 10%, or we’d be stewed! Talk about sweaty bass straps! ;)
 
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maugein96

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Hi Dingo,

If you search for him on You Tube, you'll see him get up to all sorts of stunts, including letting the bass side go at the end of a tune. The buttons on his accordions don't correlate to any system, just like Chris. On that box the treble buttons spell "Chris" in white on a black background. He has normal stradella bass, but it will probably be 3/3. 

That Maugein will (probably) be one of the top of the range double tone chamber jobs, but I'm now at the stage where I wouldn't dare make a prediction as to what model it was. So many players specify their own arrangements that it is a minefield. Maugein have perhaps been better known for their accordions with three voice musette, rather than the one Chris has. Big names like Verchuren played Maugein for a while, but I would imagine Crosio were better at offering incentives, as they were a bigger concern in their day. 

Chris often appears to deliberately hit "bum" notes just to get a laugh, and I'd never really heard of him until he was demonstrating those little "Marionito" boxes that Maugein tried to flood the market with a few years ago, in an effort to generate an interest in young players. If they'd made a console accordion game they might have had more luck.
 

Dingo40

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Hi John,
Just been looking up Chris Cortes on YouTube: he’s certainly something else!
He surely knows his way about a CBA! He seems to be really “playing “ the instrument spontaneously, rather than following a memorised musical score ( like most of us need to)
Seems as if he’s “old school” insofar as he appears to use only four fingers in his right hand.
His other, more classic looking style Maugein weighs 15 kilos, according to the clip (my Bugari 41/120, cass, champ weighs 12 kilos, and that’s quite enough for me!)
I noticed he did struggle some keeping it on his shoulders, while playing standing , phew!
 

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Please ignore all the question marks. They were posted as emojis, but came up as question marks, sorry. More work needed on my part!   :s
 

Dingo40

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Dingo40 said:
Hi John,
Just been looking up Chris Cortes on YouTube: he’s certainly something else!
He surely knows his way about a CBA! He seems to be really “playing “ the instrument spontaneously, rather than following a memorised musical score ( like most of us need to)
Seems as if he’s “old school” insofar as he appears to use only four fingers in his right hand.
His other, more classic looking style Maugein weighs 15 kilos, according to the clip (my Bugari 41/120, cass, champ weighs 12 kilos, and that’s quite enough for me!)
I noticed he did struggle some keeping it on his shoulders, while playing standing , phew!


Further to my post (above) he wears his shoulder straps very loose, his accordion hanging very low when he plays standing (centered about his belly button), so much for protocol regarding shoulder straps! :)
 
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maugein96

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[quote pid='63543' dateline='1548404035']


Further to my post (above) he wears his shoulder straps very loose, his accordion hanging very low when he plays standing (centered about his belly button), so much for protocol regarding shoulder straps! :)
[/quote]

Hi Dingo,

French made CBAs are deceptive. They are pretty compact, but tend to be a bit on the heavy side. I have a Maugein Mini Sonora that is about 3/4 size with 96 basses and it weighs 10.5 kg. Cavagnolo are now marketing boxes made from some "new tech" compound or other that's supposed to be lighter.

You mentioned "old style" CBA fingering. Even today, some players still tend to use it, although I dare say that it will die out in a generation or two, with the possible exception of some regional folk styles. As with any tradition old habits die hard, and the biggest part of the French musette repertoire was written on the presumption that players would not be making very much use of their right thumbs, if at all. It was in fact an urban "folk" style in its original form, and it was "lifted" from three row diatonic type accordions. It probably took 50 years before they realised that they weren't playing diatonic accordions, and the method books were finally revised in the early 70s, to include use of the thumb on the 1st and 2nd rows. Not on the 3rd row, as the standard French CBA has only 4 rows of treble buttons, and the method books only cater for those. 

People like me now have to contend with an extra finger that usually makes things easier, but at the same time can cause problems that weren't there before. Some people, like Mr Cortes, have obviously decided it is better to stick with what they are most comfortable with. 

With regard to strap etiquette, a fair number of older French and Belgian players played standing with the top of the accordion almost at waist level. If you have arms like a gorilla and a backbone like a poker then I suppose it doesn't really matter, but I'd rather sit and play mine as I have short arms and a backbone like a boomerang.

In the earlier days of musette it was all about image and vanity, and it wouldn't do to walk on stage with your accordion strapped on in the approved manner. You also needed the brightest jacket in the world, a toupee, or 10 bottles of black hair dye. If you ordered your accordion with a fancy button configuration you had gone that little bit further, and if you could play it whilst holding it above your head, so much the better. If you ever try playing walking around make sure your kids or grandkids haven't left any roller skates lying around, as I put one of my accordions through the side of a glass display cabinet after treading on an errant roller skate.
 

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