Blow Up

COMPOSERS: Hermeto Pascoal,Michael Portal,Piazzolla,Richard Galliano
LABELS: Dreyfus Jazz
ALBUM TITLE: Richard Galliano & Michel Portal
PERFORMER: Richard Galliano (accordion, p): Michel Portal (clt, b-cl, ss, jazzophone, bandoneon)


Recorded live in a Paris studio, this wide-ranging album brings together two of France’s most original and virtuosic jazz musicians. Their common interest in the nuevo tango of Astor Piazzolla is their most immediately obvious musical bond, explored in previous recorded collaborations, but more generally they share an attitude to jazz that is interested less in unfettered extemporisation than in a recital-based approach.

This is not to suggest that spontaneous interaction and rumbustious swing are absent from what is at times an exuberant duo display; merely that the album’s two pieces by the Brazilian maverick Hermeto Pascoal, the couple by Piazzolla and half a dozen in-house originals are celebrated more for their intrinsic compositional qualities than for their improvisational potential.


Whatever they’re playing, though, Galliano and Portal somehow contrive to imbue it not only with considerable vigour, but also with elegance and charm. CP