Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fresu/Galliano/Lundgren - Mare Nostrum (Act, 2007) ****


(Three non free jazz reviews in a row. That's unusual and as of tomorrow I'm back into free jazz.)

If you want to hear sad music, you should buy this record. In any case it is a perfect fit for the sadness of autumn, the falling leaves, the drizzling rain, the weeping of humanity, the melancholy for lost loves, nostalgia for long forgotten times, ... The three musicians, Paolo Fresu on trumpet, Richard Galliano on accordion and Jan Lundgren on piano manage to create an atmosphere which so incredibly pure in its emotional coherence, so sensitive in its musical approach, so rich in its substance, so melodious in its compositions, to make it an absolutely recommendable album. It can almost compete with Tomasz Stanko's Litania or Miles Davis' "L'Ascenseur Pour l'Echafaud", ... that kind of sensitive power. Needless to introduce the musicians, they are all three well-known, well-established European mainstream jazz artists. Most tunes are slow, sad, carefully composed little gems, with lots of warmth and deep human feelings in them, without falling into the abyss of mellowness. Once in a while, some joyous melody takes over, such as in "Principessa" or "Chat Pitre", but these are the exceptions. I usually get bored very quickly with mainstream jazz, but this one is a little bit different, the authenticity and the overall quality of the music is such that you can keep listening to it, finding new shades and colorings, enjoying the level of the interplay.

Listen to
Varvindar Friska
Chat Pitre

2 comments:

Jean Francois said...

Bonjour Stef,

All of these musicians are excellent, so I don't really mind the little diversion.

But of course, I'm preaching for my own parish! :-)

Jean François

P.S. To see Fresu in show is another ball game than on record. He can have some free intonations when he starts playing with the machines to modulate the sound of his trumpet.

Some of his records are magnificient, some are simply soporific. You have to choose wisely. Glad to know this is a good one.

stef said...

Merci Jean-François.

At other times he's indeed very influenced by Miles, but this album is something else.