In memory of Johnny Peret

In memory of Johnny Peret
In memory of my friend Johnny Peret, vibist, drummer, accordeonist extraordinaire

Friday, January 14, 2011


Cordes & Lames + 1 - Accordion Madness (France, 1989)

Another one I found in a discount bin in the Nineties.  This is a little-known but superb album featuring the French band "Cordes et Lames" and a guest, American Accordionist Kenny Kotwitz, a student of the great Art Van Damme.
"Cordes et Lames" was founded in the late seventies by guitarist Dominique Cravic  and Jazz accordionist Francis Varis (both later founded "Les Primitifs du Futur").  
They released an eponymous LP ("Cordes et Lames") in 1983, on the French JAMUZ label, which has become a minor collectable among jazz accordion / gypsy jazz aficionados. However, the music played by Cordes et Lames is not the standard "Gypsy Jazz" moulded on Hot Club de France.  Their music has more modern influences namely Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, Art Van Damme.  
They actually recorded an album with Lee Konitz in 1988.  ("Medium Rare", Label Bleu).
This album was recorded in 1987 and released in 1989 on the EPM label. It has been OOP for as long as I can remember and it is its first appearance in blogland (to the best of my knowledge).

Francis Varis
If you thought that only horn players could do "chase" , listen to the two accordions chase in Northwest Highway.


  • Fleurette Africaine
  • Joao (for Joao Gilberto)
  • Northwest Highway
  • Lament 
  • Frank's Tune
  • Country Trane
  • In case you missed it
  • For Leon & Lee
  • Varis de Paris
  • Trois Temps pour Laurent

Dominique Cravic  (guitars)
Kenny Kotwitz (accordion)
Francis Varis (accordion)
Pierre Maingourd (bass)
Jean Claude Jouy (drums)
Jean Michel Davis (drums on 6,8 and 10)
Didier Roussin (guitar on 5)
Sonia Queiroz, Coaty de Oliveira (percussion on 2)

If you want to hear something really different, give this album a try!
Link in comments. 

See Kenny Kotwitz in Detroit in 1997:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Un ré-up est-il possible ?

    2. Enfin quelqu'un que ce disque interesse! Je vais le recharger avant la fin de la semaine.

  2. RE-POST

  3. Merci beaucoup! je l'avais vu mais je n'ai pas osée demander.
    'y a des tas de musique trés interessante chez vous!!! merci bien!

  4. This link is broken again. Please re-post. Your site is great.

    1. Will do shortly. I do not have access to my archives for the time being, I'm traveling. Cheers

  5. NEW LINK:

  6. Thanks a lot from Italy. Great music.

  7. TWO jazz accordions. Amazing! Thanks very much for this wonderful jazz obscurity.

  8. Thank you for this little gem. It's Sunday morning and we are being transported to just about every other place but home.