The beauty of music is in its ability to compress. A whole lifetime of emotions can be contained in a song. Music, in a way, is the most abstract way of speaking and yet it is also the most direct utterance one can think of. The same can be said of love. Love and music transcend time while still being situated in history. Love that's here today can be gone tomorrow.
Richard Galliano's Love Day can be heard as an allegory of love and music's ability to compress. In about an hour we experience the time of a day. The album is divided into twelve tracks, starting with "Aurore" (Dawn) and ending, naturally, with "Crepuscule" (Dusk). In between we get a variety of moods and sounds to satisfy the twist and turns of the human soul.
Galliano's instrument is the accordion and he is a true virtuoso, who has played with virtually everyone from Jan Garbarek to Chet Baker. What makes his playing so compelling, however, isn't his mastery of the instrument but the way the accordion becomes an extension of the human voice. In the hands of Galliano the accordion dances, cries, screams and sighs.
There's no denying that Galliano is a romantic at heart, which is underlined by the beautiful, bittersweet ballads like "Mister J," "Hymne" and the title track, "Love Day," but he also knows how to swing with passion as evidenced in songs like "Bonjour " and the infectious "Apple Pie," where he chases the pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba like a playful cat teasing a mouse.
Besides Rubalcaba, who is in a more lyrical mood than usual, Galliano is joined by another romanticist at heart, the legendary bassist Charlie Haden. Completing the quartet is the drummer, Mino Cinelu. Together they form a strong team that manages to get around different musical corners, from slow ballads to swinging tangos, but formally this is an homage to the new musette, a jazz-influenced music developed by French and Italian musicians in 19th century Paris and frequently heard at the intimate cafes.
There is also a Latin touch about the music which is underlined by Rubalcaba's potent playing but this is still the kind of album that would go perfect with a quiet, romantic dinner. So light the candles, dim the lights and let the music do the talking. There's something words can't express. Something Love Day succeeds in saying.
Personnel: Richard Galliano: accordion; Gonzalo Rubalcaba: piano; Charlie Haden: bass (1, 2, 4-6, 8-12); Mino Cinelu: drums and percussion (1, 2, 4-7, 9, 10, 12).