5. Mister J
6. Love Day
7. Appel Pie
Richard Galliano - Accordion
Gonzalo Rubalcaba - Piano
Charlie Haden - Bass
Mino Cinelu - Drums, percussion
This CD might be described
as a "concept album" or (in even older parlance)
a suite. French accordionist Richard Galliano
presents us with a dozen pieces which depict
one day or, alternatively, a whole life from
birth to death. Thus it begins with the dawn
of Aurora and continues with exploration
of life and the world in Bonjour and
Birds. Eventually we reach the end
of the day (or life) with Sérénité
leading into Crépuscule (Twilight).
The album was recorded during
six days in April 2008 at Capitol Records
studios in Los Angeles. Richard Galliano assembled
an all-star line-up of friends for the recording,
and it certainly lives up to expectations.
All four musicians are virtuosi and they blend
seamlessly and unselfishly.
The opening Aurora
starts placidly with a gentle dawn, followed
by the livelier Bonjour with a bustling
rhythm which evinces the dexterity of both
Rubalcaba and Galliano on their respective
keyboards. And thus the day/life progresses,
with quiet tunes contrasting with vigorous
activity: the jaunty, multi-faceted Birds;
the pensive Hymne; the tender title-track;
the Latin-flavoured Appel Pie - possibly
a misprint but more likely a pun. This track
benefits from Mino Cinelu's percussion and
Rubalcaba's scintillating Cuban piano. The
questing Pourquoi? leads into a descent
into puzzlement followed by the calm resignation
of Poème, the melodious Aria
and the closing Crépuscule.
Despite the musicians' brilliance,
they have the good taste to resist showing
off their technical abilities and instead
use their expertise in the service of expressiveness.
The result is generally unshowy but undoubtedly
impressive. All human life is here.