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Reviewers: Glyn Pursglove, Jonathan Woolf

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Mare Nostrum III

ACT 9877-2 [61:15]



Paolo Fresu (trumpet and flugelhorn): Richard Galliano (accordion, bandoneon and accordina): Jan Lundgren (piano)

Recorded May 28 - 30, 2018, mixed and mastered by Lars Nilsson at Nilento Studio, Gothenburg

Blues sur Seine (Richard Galliano)

Pavese (Paolo Fresu)

Love Land (Jan Lundgren)

The Windmills Of Your Mind (Michel Legrand)

I’te vurria vasà (Eduardo Di Capua & Alfredo Mazzucchi)

Le Jardin des Fées (Richard Galliano)

Del Soldato in trincea (Paolo Fresu)

Ronneby (Jan Lundgren)

Love Theme From “The Getaway” ( Quincy Jones)

Human Requiem (Paolo Fresu)

Letter To My Mother (Richard Galliano)

Love In Return (Jan Lundgren)

Perfetta (Paolo Fresu)

The Magic Stroll (Jan Lundgren)

Prayer (Richard Galliano)

This is the third collaboration on disc between these three musicians and there is a triangulation principle at work throughout. Each of the albums was recorded in the birthplace of one of the musicians – first Italy, then France, and now finally Sweden. Of the fifteen tracks, all beautifully recorded, twelve are originals, divided equally between the three musicians; the only standards are by Quincy Jones, Michel Legrand (it was recorded before his recent death) and – ‘standard’ sounds odd in this context – Eduardo Di Capua, the Neapolitan singer and songwriter and composer of O Sole Mio.

Each of the musicians is a master of colour and emotional complexity. If you seek piano limpidity, then Lundgren provides plenty on Galliano’s Blues sur Seine, as he does quiet tristesse, and where Fresu’s rich-toned trumpet and Galliano’s wistful playing round out a soulful visit. Pavese is a lovely ballad and Love Land sees one of those many interweaving and unison arrangements that are so strong a feature of meetings between these three great musicians. The Windmills of Your Mind is played with a kind of uncanny elegiac quality that is irradiated by Galliano in particular.

On his own Ronneby Lundgren’s rolling piano generates a rhythmically relaxed motor encouraging Galliano to get bluesy on the accordina, whilst Quincy Jones’ Love Theme From “The Getaway” takes the album to the cusp of soul in its cadences. Fresu’s Milesian muted work on his Human Requiem ushers in Lundgren’s very lyrical playing and a thoroughly immersing experience, though each of these pieces is a kind of sound picture in itself. Galliano’s Piazzolla-likeLetter to My Mother has a melancholy strain, Fresu turns bluesy on Love in Return, and Perfetta is just that – slow, delicate, refined and full of subtle interplay; iridescent.

Normally an album so swathed in originals would incur a certain amount of resentment from me, but when the themes are as evocative, as nuanced, as refined, as beautiful and as moving as these, I simply put aside my critic’s notebook. I listen instead for the sheer pleasure of hearing musicians at the top of their game ensuring that the combination of trumpet, accordion and piano sounds the most natural and convincing thing in the world. When music is this good, writing about it is less than useless.

Jonathan Woolf


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