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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Milan 399 324-2



1. Tangaria
2. Luz Negra
3. Guarda Che Luna
4. Chat Pitre
5. Fou Rire
6. Gnossienne No. 3
7. Escualo
8. Indifference
9. Sanfona
10. Des Voiliers
11. Barbara
12. Sertao
13. Flambee Montalbanaise
14. Les Forains
15. Tango Pour Claude
16. New York Tango

Richard Galliano - Accordion
Hamilton De Holanda - Mandolin (tracks 2, 5, 9, 12, 15, 16)
Alexis Cardenas - Violin (tracks 1, 3-12, 15, 16)
Philippe Aerts - Bass (tracks 1-13, 15, 16)
Raphael Mejias - Percussion (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12, 15, 16)
Amoy Ribas - Percussion (tracks 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13)


World music has blown some healthy fresh air into several other genres of music, including jazz. The music of such composers as Astor Piazzolla has percolated into the classical concert hall as well as the jazz club. This cross-fertilisation is illustrated by Richard Galliano, whose playing embraces influences from the tango and the bal musette, as well as jazz and the classics.

This CD was recorded in 2006 - the same year that Richard Galliano recorded Live in Marciac, which I enthused about when I reviewed it here. Both albums use the same line-up of musicians, consisting essentially of Galliano's "Tangaria Quartet" plus guest mandolinist Hamilton De Holanda. However, this album was a studio recording, made in Brazil. It seems to have been issued previously under the title Luz Negra, although this version adds two extra tracks at the end. So it is rather naughty of the record company not to warn potential buyers that they might already have most of this material in their collections. The naughtiness is compounded by the fact that the two "extra" tracks both appear to come from the Live at Marciac album (the audience applause is a give-away).

In fact the repertoire duplicates many of the tunes on Live in Marciac, although the studio ambience lacks the excitement added by a live audience. As on that album, the tracks where Hamilton de Holanda joins in on mandolin are some of the most arousing. Fou Rire again has awe-inspiring solos from violin, mandolin and accordion. In most respects, the remarks I made about Live in Marciac also apply to this CD.

Diehard jazz fans may find the music too un-jazzy or even over-romantic for their tastes, but I find it irresistible. Galliano's playing has the rhythmic impulse and improvisatory freedom of much jazz, and he is an undoubted virtuoso on an instrument which is sometimes unfairly disdained. This album's actual defiance of categorisation may open listeners' ears to a variety of new sounds and styles. Just make sure you haven't already bought these recordings under another guise.

Tony Augarde

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