Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Steve Jordan

  • The Return of El Parche [Rounder, 1988] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Return of El Parche [Rounder, 1988]
In a decade that's rediscovered the accordion's heritage as portable people's orchestra, this 50-year-old is as timely as Astor Piazzolla. Influenced by both Afro-Latin rhythms and the border polkas he played as a kid, he's every bit as original and a lot raunchier. It's the usual overstatement to call him the Jimi Hendrix of Tex-Mex--though I don't doubt he's the finest improvisor in his idiom, Jimi cuts him deeper than the assailant who took two years out of Jordan's career in a New Mexico bar in 1973. But if on casual hearing Carl Finch's loving compilation sounds insularly subcultural, the briefest check against Finch's two multi-artist Rounder ¡Conjunto! collections puts Jordan's all-American swing and sonic range into relief--even Flaco Jimenez is folkloric (though equally wondrous) by comparison. Far from generic, Jordan's distinctive sound can connect furriners like me to the genre. I'm sure I can't feel it the way someone who lives among Chicanos can, but I'll call it rock and roll if he will. A-