This is one of those sessions I was waiting to happen for a long time. Eight years actually as this is exactly the time which passed from original Mare Nostrum recording. Only a few like that exist in a entire music history which are possessing the same magic and charm.
To me the other two are RIOS with bandeonist Dino Salluzzi and another titled Other Worlds recorded as well in trio, but here with accordionist Jean Louis Mattinier. The recipe for success is pretty much the same. Speak from the Heart and then those Hearts from an audience will respond! All compositions came from band mates with two classical tunes which fit the mood. 1St Gnossienne by E.Satie in Galliano’s arrangement and Monteverdi‘s Si Dolce e il tormento done by Fresu.
From the first notes it makes you feel like you are back home straight away. A Sweet home. An opening Apnea came from Fresu. It is a beautiful tune into which everyone contributes an equally big chunk of their sensitivity. As projects like this are always coming from the deep understanding of each other and the need of the heart. It doesn’t happen on demand. We have been waiting long but it looks like it happened at just the right time.
Lundgren‘s Blue Silence is led by Galliano’s bandoneon holding a nostalgic phrase with outstanding care supported by counterpointing piano notes. Galliano‘s own Aurore is even more emotional. Here duos with trumpet weaved among piano chords are seeding around irresistible charm. Impressionistic piano lines fit between long accordion notes like a hand in a glove. Whatever comes next is actually irrelevant. As this trio is listening to each other in a simply organic way and reacting like a single organism.
Kristallen den fina, the traditional tune reminds me of the mood created by a few tunes on the legendary Antiphone Blues recording. With the same chord progression as Jag vet en dejlig rosa. Swedes would probably recognize it with no mistake. Those who adore the Anouar Brahem trio will find the same kind of intimacy in Mare Nostrum II. Perhaps because Lundgren’s musical sensitivity is so close to François Couturier’s. As I am so familiar with this music, it takes over you in the same way and this came to my mind automatically.
Another automatic comparison has more visual aspect… Listening to Mare Nostrum always brought back to me some crops from Giuseppe Tornatore films. Music for those came from the great Ennio Morricone of course. However it simply embodies an essence of the Mediterranean soul and such remains unmistakeable. The common denominator which is always present whenever it is played. It leaves you completely immerse to the sound, hypnotised , relaxed and happy. Not many more words can be spoken about this music to be honest. When it comes to a reflection, the truth always floats to the surface again as it normally does. Just a few titles come to mind when I think about this. It’s not a surprise that Mare Nostrum is one of those very few.