A fascinating amalgam of personalities and styles, this 1996 release from Franco-Italian accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano achieves a wholly original musical synthesis. Bracketed by an opening track from tango ace Astor Piazzolla and a concluding piece from Jaco Pastorius, the session finds the common ground in such seemingly disparate choices. With nine Galliano originals in between, the result is a cohesive, uncompromising set of performances and an essential work in the leader's discography.
Galliano is an outstanding accordion and bandoneon performer who plays with great passion and spirit. He is even more heightened in this setting with the I Solisti Dell'orchestra Della Toscana, a large string ensemble, pianist Stefano Bollani, harpist Cinzia Conte, and a pair of percussionists. Galliano or his hero Astor Piazzolla wrote this richly romantic music, based in classical, chamber, and tango traditions. The middle of the CD features four of Galliano's shorter pieces. "San Peyre" features typical lush, skyline vistas, Galliano's wistful musings, and "Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" flavorings.
Accordionist Richard Galliano did for European folk – specifically, the early 20th century French ballroom dance form known as musette – what his mentor Astor Piazzolla did for the Argentinian tango. Galliano reimagined and revitalized a musical tradition, expanding its emotional range to reflect modern sensibilities, opening it up to improvisation learned through American jazz. In fact, Galliano was more of a jazz musician than a folk one, although he blurred the lines so much that distinctions were often difficult to make.
Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordionist Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren form the trio “Mare Nostrum”. This band forges connections between the discrete musical cultures of its three protagonists. This new album marks the return to the studio of a European supergroup. And they're on top form.
Richard Galliano, one of the greatest accordionists of the modern era, and unimpeachable jazz guitarist Sylvain Luc collaborated in the ’90s before going their separate musical ways. The two musicians now reunite their talents for this duo project dedicated to the grande dame of French chanson. The result is a virtuoso jewel, showcasing and reawakening the freshness of the Piaf repertoire in this, the 100th anniversary of her birth.
Hot on the heels of Richard Galliano’s Live in Marciac CD (which I reviewed here a few weeks ago) comes another Galliano album, this time with a quartet featuring vibist Gary Burton. The interplay between the two leaders is reminiscent of the duets which Gary Burton recorded with Chick Corea. Here Burton’s vibes are paired with a different keyboard instrument, but the result is a similar meeting of two brilliant musical minds…
An inventive, virtuoso performer with solid jazz chops, Galliano is at home with a variety of atmospheres, including the happy and the carefree. Tangaria, recorded with his Tangaria Quartet and guest mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda —and previously released, without the closing "Tango Pour Claude" and "New York Tango," as Luz Negra (Milan, 2007)—finds Galliano roving widely across the emotional spectrum. Despite the band's name, tango takes a back seat here—a third of the tracks plough the familiar furrow—and it's outnumbered by valse musettes, tunes derived from Italian and Brazilian popular song, and globally imagined originals whose provenance is harder to pin down. Some of the tunes are sorrowful, but just as often they are upbeat and gutsy…