A series of duets with Ron Carter and French accordionist Richard Galliano. Not a common jazz instrument, the free-reed sound of the accordion on this recording is both subtle and lovely. Tempos range from ballads to medium, but tend to be on the slow side. Not breakthrough jazz, these duets (recorded live, in concert) are refreshing and what all good music should be, just good listening.
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.