Cover Mare Nostrum III

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  • 1Blues Sur Seine04:54
  • 2Pavese04:56
  • 3Love Land04:23
  • 4The Windmills of Your Mind03:38
  • 5I'te vurria Vasá04:33
  • 6Le Jardin Des Fées05:12
  • 7Del Soldato in trincea02:15
  • 8Ronneby03:37
  • 9Love Theme from 'the Getaway'03:10
  • 10Human Requiem04:30
  • 11Letter to My Mother05:09
  • 12Love in Return04:26
  • 13Perfetta03:18
  • 14The Magic Stroll02:59
  • 15Prayer04:13
  • Total Runtime01:01:13

Info for Mare Nostrum III

The sound of Europe. Within ten years and hundreds of concerts in Scandinavia, Central-, Southern- and Eastern-Europe and the Near- and Middle East, the trio "Mare Nostrum", consisting of the Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren has established itself as one of the most prominent ensembles of "The sound of Europe", drawing inspiration from jazz, classical and folk-/song-tradition - from the northernmost to the southernmost part of the continent.

The old saying that ‘all good things come in threes’ might be a cliché with no particular logic to it, but as a way to describe the virtues of Mare Nostrum, it’s right on the money. Twelve years ago, Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordionist Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren, all from the upper echelons of European jazz, formed their trio. Each has his roots in the musical tradition of his home country, and each has used it to develop his own musical language. These are musicians who bring their individuality and inspiration to a multitude of projects in modern jazz, and so transcend borders and connect genres. All three men have poetry in their playing. Their love of melody binds them together, and does so more than ever in this new third album.

In fact, "Mare Nostrum III" completes a trilogy of albums. Right from the beginning of their decade-long collaboration, the group has had the idea of recording an album in each of their home countries. They made the first in Italy in 2007, and it took these busy musicians until 2016 to go to France and to record the second. Their third destination was Sweden, and the Nilento Studio in Gothenburg. "Once again,” says René Hess, the Swiss producer of the album, says, "it was a pure pleasure to see the sheer ease with which Paolo, Richard and Jan can create such great music."

The first thing the listener notices is the natural, spontaneous way the thread of the musical conversation unfolds. Their affinity in soul and spirit is immediately recognizable. This group of equals is a version of Europe which is united, democratic, and brings everything together. Each of the three contributed four original compositions plus a favourite piece. It is mostly possible to work out by listening who has written the pieces, and yet the trio translates into a common language; it’s a language which all have a thorough understanding of, and a genuine feeling for.

The album begins with Richard Galliano's "Blues sur Seine". It’s a plaintive piano melody reminiscent of Satie, or possibly Grieg. It’s joined by a veiled trumpet line before high notes from a lamenting accordion take over. Paris is in there, but so are fjords, Mediterranean shores and Basin Street in New Orleans. The whole thing is pure simplicity and enchantment. Characteristically Italian pathos then emerges in Fresu's "Pavese", in a natural frame of spontaneous soundscapes. Lundgren's "Love Land" has lively, cheerfully intertwining voices and a catchy theme that conjures up the magic of Swedish folklore. Then all three bring their persuasive lyricism to two of the most bittersweet melodies ever written, Michel Legrand's "The Windmills Of Your Mind" and Eduardo Di Capua's "I'te vurria vasà".

Three pieces follow that in each case deal with a very personal memory. With the wonderful "Le Jardin des Fées", Richard Galliano honours the memory of his compatriot and friend, the much-missed great jazz violinist Didier Lockwood. In "Del Soldato in trincea" Paolo Fresu recalls one of his favourite films, Ermanno Olmi's "Torneranno i prati". And Jan Lundgren strolls through the streets of "Ronneby", the small Swedish town where he grew up, with a strongly rhythmic blues-infused folk music melody. All three then bring Quincy Jones' love theme from the film "The Getaway" back to their own shores. Then follows Fresu’s concentrated "Human Requiem", played entirely on muted trumpet, and the slow sustained concentration of Galliano's "Letter To My Mother". In the final tracks, Lundgren's "The Magic Stroll", reminiscent of the musicals, and Richard Galliano's classically inspired "Prayer", with the feel of rolling along on the waves of the ocean, these three exceptional musicians have found a perfect symbiosis.

With "Mare Nostrum III", Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano and Jan Lundgren have once again created a wonderful ballad album. Through their music they rise way above that old discussion about whatever "jazz" might be nowadays. What they have achieved instead is to bring the sound of Europe to life.

Paolo Fresu, trumpet, flugelhorn
Richard Galliano, accordion, bandoneon, accordina
Jan Lundgren, piano

Recorded from May 28 - 30, 2018, mixed and mastered by Lars Nilsson at Nilento Studio, Gothenburg
Produced by René Hess / HR Music

Paolo Fresu
from the island of Sardinia, which has its own great vocal tradition, could relate at once to the Corsican music with its “refined and archaic voices”, its mix of contemporary compositions and its attempt to hold fast to “melodies vanishing in the darkness of time”. He is one of the most highly regarded jazz musicians in Europe, and his ECM collaboration with Ralph Towner on “Chiaroscuro” (released in 2009), successful both with the critics and the public, figured in the quarterly list of Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Since 1990 when he swept the Music Jazz Polls, the trumpeter has been a multiple award winner.

Paolo Fresu has appeared on more than 300 albums, including leader dates for EMI, RCA and Blue Note. His first appearance in the neighbourhood of ECM came in 2007 when he played on – and indeed was the subject of – Carla Bley’s The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu, issued on the ECM-distributed WATT label. In 2009 he was heard in a duo collaboration with guitarist Ralph Towner on Chiaroscuro. The Towner/Fresu duo has toured widely.

In addition to the Mistico Mediterraneo work with Fresu, bandoneonist Daniele di Bonaventura’s ECM credits include Miroslav Vitous’s Universal Syncopations II which won the German Critics Prize (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik) as Album of the Year 2007.

Richard Galliano
After having learned, since the age of 4, piano and accordion from his father, Accordion player and teacher, Lucien Galliano, he is welcome at the Conservatorium of Nice , directed by the famous Pierre Cochereau, and studies Harmonies, Counterpoints … as well as Trombone (First prize in 1969). In 1975, he meets Claude Nougaro while settling down in Paris . Richard Galliano will be his accordion player and Orchestra chief till 1983. He will compose for him the music of ALLÉE DES BROUILLARDS, DES VOILIERS, VIE VIOLENCE … In 1980 , second important meeting: Astor Piazzolla who will advise him to create a French NEW MUSETTE the same way Piazzolla invented the Argentinian NEW TANGO.

Richard Galliano has recorded more than 50 albums under his own name and collaborated with an impressive number of artists: From the Jazz world: Chet Baker, Eddy Louis, Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Haden, Gary Burton.

From the French variety: Serge Reggiani, Claude Nougaro, Barbara, Allain Leprest, Charles Aznavour, Serge Gainsbourg.

Cross-Over: Nigel Kennedy – his “Bach Project” on Deutsche Grammophon has beaten all classical sales with more than 50.000 copies in 2010.

1997: A “Jazz Victory Award” for his album “New York Tango”.
1998: A “Jazz Victory Award” for his album “Blow Up”.
2009: Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.
2010: A “Sacem Award” for the best pedagogical method of accordion which he co-wrote with his father Lucien Galliano (Éd.Lemoine).
2011: Commandeur of the Order of Arts et Letters.

2014: A “Classical Victory Award”: Richard Galliano receives the award of the “Best Composer of the Year 2014”.

Jan Lundgren
born in Kristianstad in southern Sweden on March 22nd 1966, and raised in Ronneby, Blekinge, had his first piano lessons at age five. He was soon discovered to have an exceptional musical talent. After a long period of classical training, he discovered jazz more or less by chance in the late 1980’s. He was instantly hooked, rapidly absorbed the jazz piano tradition from Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner to Bud Powell and Bill Evans, and acquired a depth of knowledge of the Great American Songbook like possibly no other European jazz pianist.

While sailing through his studies at the renowned Royal College of Music in Malmö, he also took up a busy schedule as a professional musician that quickly helped to build his reputation in Sweden. Discovered by Swedish bebop legend Arne Domnérus, he frequently played with other Swedish stars like Putte Wickman and Bernt Rosengren.

Lundgren’s debut album “Conclusion” was released in 1994, and propelled his career firmly forward. The following year saw the formation of the Jan Lundgren Trio with long time student associates Mattias Svensson (bass) and Rasmus Kihlberg (drums), who was replaced in the beginning of the year 2000 by the Dane Morten Lund. This steady band recorded seven well-received and commercially very successful albums for the Swedish label “Sittel” in the period up to 2003. The album “Swedish Standards”, released in 1997 even became a bestseller and reached a place in the Swedish pop charts. But the album “Landscapes” (2003) sold comparably and both releases soon became classics due to their linking Swedish folk music and jazz. The band’s intense tour schedule founds a temporary peak in a concert at Carnegie Hall as part of “Swedish Jazz salutes the USA”.

As a sideman, Lundgren has accompanied such greats as Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson, Herb Geller, James Moody, or singer Stacey Kent. He has also shared the stage with ACT-artist Ulf Wakenius a number of times.

Jan Lundgren has been awarded a number of prizes since the early 90’s: In 1997 “Swedish Standards” became “best jazz album of the year”. He was nominated for the “Swedish Grammy” in 1995, 1997 and 2008 and the “Swedish Django d’Or Prize” in 1998, 2001 and 2002.

Having visited a long list of European territories and venues, Lundgren has also been on extended tours of Australia and Japan. He has visited the USA about 15 times and recorded some well-received albums for the label “Fresh Sound”.

In 2006 Lundgren becomes part of the ACT family: Initially he was featured as a sideman on the Ida Sand album Meet Me Around Midnight (ACT 9716-2). In July 2007 he released his first ACT album Fresu – Galliano – Lundgren: Mare Nostrum (ACT 9466-2), followed by Magnum Mysterium (ACT 9457-2), which will be released in November of 2007.

In 2008 Lundgren could reap the fruits of his labour, and his Mare Nostrum was performed in front of sold out houses on prestigious stages throughout Europe (Salle Gaveau – Paris, Tonhalle – Zurich, Victoria Hall – Geneva, Teatro Dante Aligheri – Ravenna, S. Caecilia – Rome …) as well as at Jazz Baltica, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Istanbul Jazz Festival. There are many good reasons why the band has been called “the first European super group”.

In the same year Lundgren was honoured with the Swedish Django d’Or, and began a collaboration with the classical trumpet player Hǻkan Hardenberger and the Swedish writer Jacques Werup – an exiting melange of modern classical and free music, of jazz and compositions of Jan Lundgren.

Lundgren also brought the Jan Lundgren 3io back to life in 2008, albeit with a new drummer, Zoltan Csörsz Jr who proved to be a truly lucky catch for the trio. A new repertoire has resulted in the new ACT album European Standards (ACT 9482-2) which will be released in Mai 2009 together with the re-release of Swedish Standards (ACT 9022-2) from the ACT Jazz Classics series.

Lundgren is part of a remarkable and long tradition of innovative pianists from Sweden like Jan Johansson who passed away early, and in more recent times Bobo Stenson and Esbjörn Svensson. Lundgren has never made life easy for himself, and has always tried to utilize his phenomenal technique to enhance his musicality. His ability to integrate the most disparate musical influences into a fascinating whole is unique in itself. Whether its contemporary classical music, the inexhaustible northern folk tradition or the pulsating groove of jazz, deeply rooted in Afro-American music: Lundgren has a unique way of leading the listener on a voyage of discovery – sometimes relaxed, sometimes utterly invigorating - through his highly individual soundscapes.

Booklet for Mare Nostrum III

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