"Use an accordion, go to jail," said Rickie Lee Jones, succinctly summing up one of the prevailing unofficial rules of American popular music. And it's a good rule, too, unless you're calling forth "Lady of Spain" or an evening of polkas.
What is inarguably true about the bandoneon is that the instrument is a kissing cousin of the accordion. But you can take it to the bank that you have never heard anything like the way the bandoneon is played by Argentinian composer/bandoneonist Line is overdrawn Dino Saluzzi.
That makes Saturday's duet concert with Saluzzi and cellist Anja Lechner the most unusual, by far, of this year's Art of Jazz series at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. It will end this year's series at 8 p.m. in the gallery auditorium, and it's a testament to some of the unusual music we'd never hear in this city without it.
Saluzzi, who will be 72 in three weeks, has been collaborating for years with Lechner, the cellist of the young Rosamunde Quartet and therefore at home with the music of Schubert (whose incidental music to "Rosamunde" gave the quartet its name), Shostakovich and Webern. Tango, though, is clearly a passion of Lechner's, and she is frequently heard in context with the greatest tango masters.
Their new disc, "Ojos Negros" ("Dark Eyes," or, translated literally, "Black Eyes"), is a duet of chamber jazz that crosses back and forth into the manner of classical music in an indescribable way that simply doesn't exist in the world outside the provinces of those artists who record for ECM records.
Those who've heard Saluzzi and Lechner in concert tend to wax ecstatic about their music.
Admission is $22, $18 for members.
-- Jeff Simon