Richard Galliano New York Tango Trio: Cully 2022 review – one enchanted accordion evening

Galliano shows masterly technique on his instrument, with virtuosic backing on this live recording

Almost certainly, Richard Galliano is the best accordionist alive today. It’s not just a matter of technique. Anyone who can keep a grip on all those buttons and bellows is halfway to being a genius anyway. It’s the delicacy, the light and shade of the ever-changing sounds, the clarity. I find it enchanting. This album was recorded earlier this year at a festival in Cully, a resort on Lake Geneva. Five of the 11 pieces are Galliano compositions and, this being his Tango Band, three are by Astor Piazzolla, his exemplar in that idiom. When Galliano plays Piazzolla the similarity is quite striking.

A good example, the sweetly sad Chiquilin De Bachin, is a little masterpiece in this respect. It also reveals the double talents of Sébastien Giniaux, the trio’s superb guitarist, who plays an eloquent cello here. In contrast, the trio, including bassist Diego Imbert, presents seven-and-a-half minutes of sheer virtuosity with Galliano’s jazz-tinted Waltz for Nicky. The evening ends on a touchingly intimate note, the audience quietly joining in Serge Gainsbourg’s La Javanaise, with Galliano acting as their gentle accompanist.

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