Stories » Richard Galliano brings his magicianship to Ystad Sweden Festival / Jazz Journal

Top 10 for Aug

Richard Galliano brings his magicianship to Ystad Sweden Festival / Jazz Journal

Bookmark and Share

Michael Tucker rather enjoys the opening days of the 2016 Ystad Jazz Festival in southern Sweden, including Marlene VerPlanck, Bill Mays, Paolo Fresu and French accordionist - Richard Galliano. Standing ovations were accorded to two superb and deeply memorable concerts of the opening days: one from Galliano, who offered an hour of his solo magicianship to a packed S:ta Maria Kyrka, and the other from the Mare Nostrum Trio of Galliano, Fresu and Jan Lundgren.

Those who know recordings such as Galliano's Paris Concert of 2009 will be aware of what an extraordinary range of musicianship this man is able to command. Perhaps only Galliano (pictured left with Paolo Fresu) could successfully piece together Debussy's Clair De Lune and Lennon's Imagine as he did in a programme which ranged across French chanson, tango, film scores, Chaplin and Bach - the whole fired by the kind of sinewy muscularity one has long come to relish from a man whose first significant musical influence was Clifford Brown.

At 65 years, Galliano displays the energy of a man half his age. Just hours after this solo tour de force he was performing again, this time in a late-night concert with the Mare Nostrum Trio at the Ystad Teater. Opening with Lundgren's lovely Mare Nostrum from their first album, this exceptional trio ranged far and wide in a programme which at times was as rhythmically forceful (as in Lundgren's  Leklåt and the concluding Loveland) as it was lyrically compelling (exemplified by the encore of Claudio Monteverdi's Si Dolce È Il Tormento). Fresu employed his newly retrieved digital delay to prime effect on a lovely duo with Lundgren on a Swedish folk theme, typifying the manner in which this concert explored the dynamics of performance.