Karen Tweed and Timo Alakotila May Monday

This record of duets featuring accordion and piano is a sublime mix of English and Swedish folk songs. Playing with confidence and sensitivity, Tweed and Alakotila's chemistry manages to transcend "jazz," "world" or "new music" genres. By organically fusing these styles, their music ought to satisfy fans of Eastern European-influenced jazz, as well as folk purists. At times thoughtful and humorous, most songs are medleys of both traditional and original compositions, with Tweed's sprightly accordion work and ornamented melodic style, a decidedly Celtic influence is at the core of most tunes. The album is taken up a notch when Tweed and Alakotila are joined by another accordionist, an acoustic guitarist and a mystical sounding trumpeter. Despite the absence of low-end instrumentation, the lush textures never miss the addition of bass or drums, their energetic arrangements carry on until the closing track, "Riverside May," when beautiful string arrangements accompany the relaxed duo. (Northside)