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The people's instrument, illustrated

Planet Squeezebox
Planet Squeezebox
By various artists

Ellipsis Arts: 1995

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This review first appeared in the December 1, 1995 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

Three CDs of accordion music? You bet, and given the incredible variety of musical styles represented on this collection, the listener is left wishing for more.

Ellipsis Arts, purveyors of boxed sets of world music that span the globe more completely than the Internet, has compiled a history and cross-section of accordion music that travels from the Basque region to Argentinean tango halls, from the Creole and Cajun bayous of Louisiana to the Scottish highlands, from the beer halls of Quebec to the windswept hills of Scandinavia.

"The people's instrument," as the accordion is also known, has made on impact on the world's musics that is all the more striking when those very different traditions are presented side by side.

As with everything Ellipsis Arts puts out, the accompanying booklet is visually striking, well-written and amply illustrated. The history of the accordion and its squeezebox brethren (concertina and bandoneon) is presented, along with background info on all the artists featured, as well as the music they play.