Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"There's nothing like a great accordion recording--really. There's something inherently romantic and charmingly evocative about the Italian (or French) style of music and performance on this instrument that in other hands and in other repertoire can be so, well, irritating. Jazz musician Richard Galliano shows this much-maligned and abused instrument at its best--you know, recalling those enticing scenes of old-world cafés, lonely, narrow, meandering streets, and many moods of love and longing, that even in gaiety carries a melancholy undertone. And Galliano has chosen a master evocateur in Nino Rota, whose film music has captivated millions while memorably capturing all manner of moods, characters, scenes, places, and periods... You could say that the whole album mediates between old world and today, between classical and jazz, between folk and popular music--a confirmation of Galliano's assertion that Nino Rota's music is "universal". Most people I know do not have an accordion disc on their list of next CD purchases; but what about a really cool, jazz-flavored program of some of the best, most memorable music of our lifetime? Have I convinced you? Just let me say that this is an offer that you shouldn't refuse." -Classics Today (10/10)
Adapter: Richard Galliano.
Audio Mixer: Gérard De Haro.
Liner Note Author: Vincent Bessières.
Recording information: Studio La Buissonne, France (01/03/2011-01/09/2011).
Photographers: Francis Vernhet; Alix Laveau.
Having previously tackled the works of everyone from Bach to Billie Holiday, Frenchman Richard Galliano further showcases the versatility which has helped him to become the world's premier accordionist with this beautifully crafted tribute album to the legendary film composer Nino Rota. Recorded to celebrate the centenary of the late Italian's birth in 1911, its 20 tracks may lack the sweeping cinematics of the originals, but accompanied by a "dream team" quintet of trumpeter Dave Douglas, reedsman John Surman, bassist Boris Kozlov, and drummer Clarence Penn, Galliano treats them to an equally stylish arrangement that's bravely improvisational but never less than respectful. Other than the mournful trombone solo of opener "The Godfather Waltz" and an exquisite double bass-led reworking of "The Godfather's Love Theme," both from Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 masterpiece, and the self-penned vaudeville toe-tapping finale "Nino," the album focuses entirely on his work with Federico Fellini. And it's when Galliano allows himself to really let loose that the album best brings these iconic themes, many of which are more than 50 years old, most vividly to life, whether it's the skittering musette-folk interpretation of "Amarcord," the eerie ambience which opens the seductive lounge pop of "Giulietta Degli Spiriti (Rosa Avrata)," or the tense, circus themed take on "La Strada." A testament to the talents of both its source of inspiration and one of the many musicians who he inspired, Nino Rota is a clever and affectionate homage which makes the transition from classical to jazz appear effortless. ~ Jon O'Brien
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