Amy Jo Sawyer has recently released her newest solo CD “Classically Amy” which
indicates she still has what it takes to tackle some of the accordion solos so popular
during the heyday of the accordion in the USA. Several of the solos are almost “standards”
among those hundreds of solo accordionists who competed in the many accordion competitions
held back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. This recording, however, is not a compilation of some
performances from her earlier years; they are recently recorded. The CD would be quite interesting
and very helpful to any accordionist learning to play these solos today.
As she always has, the artist plays the nine-row Giulietti accordion and has included solos played
on both free-bass chromatic system and on stradella. The program notes are fun to read and very informative for
those being initially exposed to the repertoire.
In addition to her own arrangements, Amy Jo includes one by Frank Marocco (the
popular “Libertango” by Piazzolla), two by Charles Magnante (de Falla’s “Ritual Fire
Dance” and “Sabre Dance” by Khachaturian), two by Anthony Galla-Rini, (Lecuona’s
“Malaguena” and the Debussy “Clair de lune), the Domenico Scarlatti “Sonata in A
minor, K. 149” arranged by Mogens Ellegaard, and even the Frank Gaviani solo
arrangement of the very familiar Third Movement of the famous “Violin Concerto in E
minor, Op. 64” by Felix Mendelssohn. Her own arrangements include the “Flight of the
vBumble Bee” by Rimsky-Korsakov, “Little White Donkey” by Ibert, and Three Pieces from “The Children’s Album” Book 2, by Khachaturian.
Amy Jo Sawyer has become very popular and well-known in recent years for her own compositions
which are usually more of the entertainment or commercial styles of music, including tango, swing, and Latin jazz,
for example. She has written not only for solo accordion but also for accordion ensemble. The entertaining
compositions are not normally difficult but rather quite accessible by most all groups of accordionists today
and very popular with both performers and listeners throughout the world.
You will enjoy the CD “Classically Amy” produced by the artist, Amy Jo Sawyer. The accordion is recorded very well on this newest solo CD which is available on the MusicForAccordion.com website at Amy Jo Sawyer
Reviewed by Joan Cochran
Sommers, August, 2010.
Sawyer Music Studio
Amy Jo Sawyer
813 W. Lakeshore Dr.