CD Reviews

Music on the Web (UK)

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

AmazonUK   AmazonUS



Live in Marciac 2006

Milan 399 143-2






1. Tango pour Claude
2. Laurita
3. Chat Pître
4. Tangaria
5. Présentation des musiciens
6. Fou Rire
7. Sertão

8. Disparada
9. Chorinho Pra Elé
10. Traditionnel Vénézuélien
11. Spleen
12. Libertango
13. Escualo
14. Sanfona
15. New York Tango
Richard Galliano – Accordion
Alexis Cardenas – Violin
Phillipe Aerts – Double bass
Rafael Mejias - Percussion
Hamilton de Holanda – Mandolin (tracks 6-8, 14, 15)

When I saw accordionist Richard Galliano two years ago when he was on a short European tour, I was amazed that anyone could draw so many sounds and textures from the accordion. It has not exactly been a frequently-used instrument in jazz, although devotees will remember such rare exponents as Joe Mooney, Art van Damme, Tito Burns and Tommy Gumina. Even George Shearing was an accordionist in his younger days. At any rate, Richard Galliano puts most of them into the shade.

When I heard Galliano with his New York Trio (a different group), the style was predominantly jazz but on this album it is as much tango as jazz, although there is still plenty of jazz improvistion. The accordion carries with it an exotic atmosphere from its associations with France, Mexico and various forms of folk music, and Galliano’s music embraces many of these and other influences. On this album you will encounter jazz, tangoes, French musette, the classics and many other strands, which Richard weaves into an appetising mixture. What they all have in common is rhythmic vitality – as well as technical brilliance. These qualities are in evidence from the very first track – the first of several compositions by Galliano. It is a lively tango with a descending chromatic structure which tugs at the heart. Laurita has a similar poignant fall, with jaunty solos from bassist Philippe Aerts and violinist Alexis Cardenas (shades of Stephane Grappelli!). Chat Pître has more the feel of the French musette

Mandolin-player Hamilton de Holanda joins the quartet from tracks six to eight, adding to the already high level of impressive musicianship. Fou Rire moves so quickly as to defy belief, and the violinist sounds as if he is trying to saw through his instrument! The violin is also featured in Traditionnel Vénézuélien (which is actually a gigue from a Bach suite), with a pyrotechnic display which raises the audience to new heights of excitement. Mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda gets his own solo on Disparada, another virtuosic feature which threatens to steal the show. But Galliano is an equally remarkable musician, and his duet with Hamilton on Chorinho pra Elé has notes springing from their fingers at top speed, like two fountains going berserk together.

Libertango and Escualo were written by the doyen of tango, Astor Piazzolla. The former is a multi-faceted solo by Richard Galliano; the latter is a jovial piece with the violin prominent. Hamilton rejoins the quartet for the last two numbers. They are both Galliano compositions: the Gallic-sounding Sanfona and the catchy New York Tango, making a fittingly dazzling finale from a superb ensemble.

Tony Augarde


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: