John Williams & Dean Magraw

Among innumerable other projects for both, Twin Cities guitar wizard Dean Magraw and Chicago squeezebox/flute/piano ace John Williams have maintained a strong creative partnership that thrives on the striking lyricism of each. Last year the duo released Raven (Compass), which was grounded in traditional Irish music but really reflected both musicians' broadly ecumenical leanings. Magraw, whose interests run from folk to jazz and experimental music, has an inimitable style that reflects their synthesis, playing with a soulful, fleet-fingered joy that intricately meshes with Williams's painterly concertina and button accordion runs. Even when rushing full-tilt through jigs and reels, Williams (a founder of the band Solas with a County Clare heritage) and Magraw work the nuances and subtle rhythmic twists. All the more so on the evocative originals that dominated Raven, from Magraw's lushly impressionistic "Kilnamona" to Williams's austere and haunting "Perdition Piano Duet," written for the film Road to Perdition.
Sat., Dec. 8, 8 p.m., 2007

 
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