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Paris Accordion as played by the natives



I think its great that accordionists in many different countries compose tunes dedicated to Paris. The American connection with the chanson era seems to have created the notion that Paris would be eternally reverberating to the sound of the accordion. A search of accordion compositions with the word Paris in the title will give a lot of results.

The sad fact is that the accordion in Paris is now a pretty rare bird indeed, but the music is still heard on various media as though it was still 1950, and the vast majority of Paris Cafe music on You Tube and suchlike has been recorded by players from all over the globe.

That being the case Im pretty sure that many members will never have actually listened to French accordionists or heard what their instruments sound like.

Here is the genuine article, but unfortunately it has been pieced together by somebody who has a penchant for Mengascini accordions. One or two of the tracks are played by Yves Leynaert from Dunkerque, which is just up the road from Paris at 190 miles, and Yves plays a Cavagnolo accordion. I dont know who the other players in the compilation are, but they are all French (or Belgian), and you can hear it in their playing style.

The tracks in the compilation are fairly typical of the phrasing, tempo, and techniques used by French and Belgian players.

Hopefully, they will be able to illustrate the genuine article for those who are used to listening to ersatz Paris accordion.

Dont get me wrong, Im not complaining about the foreign compositions that pay tribute to the Paris accordion, I just feel that most players looking to find the genuine article are likely to struggle. The vast majority of Paris Cafe type music was probably recorded on the banks of the Danube rather than the Seine.

Does it really matter at the end of the day? Probably not, but I just feel that the French players are being crowded out by the sheer volume of cafe material. You might as well listen to the real thing. Mind you I reckon so many people have been listening to the faux Paris cafe music for so long that they might not actually like the real thing
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