26.03.2014 / Cadence (USA)
Biondini - Godard - Niggli
A combination of tuba and accordion is different, but not unprecedented. Luciano Biondini and Michel Godard mesh well, recalling a certain romantic or chamber music concept that reflect their European background, while echoing harmonic shades of Duke Ellington, contemporary mainstream jazz, and even religious music.
The recording starts off very upbeat on the hard swinging title track, bounces along for Godard's original "Dreaming Dancers," and runs through some great rhythm changes during Brad Mehldau's "Unrequited". As you might expect when big brass meets a sensual squeezebox, the principals return to their hymnal or slow waltzing, melancholy roots. They also take liberties with spiky improvisations, as on the fully rearranged standard "Bluesette" in 5/4, really going out on "Black Eyes" or the developed "The Wised Up Fanfare". It's clear that Biondini and Godard are like minded,
while very capable drummer Lucas Niggli has everything - rhythmic or free - under firm control.
It was refreshing to hear this recording. While the sonic landscape is most appealing, it is the meshing of the instruments and the way they play dynamically, that sets it apart. If you like Bob Stewart, or the Tin Hat Trio, you'll find this precious as well. Recommended.
Michael G. Nastos, Cadence Magazine USA, April, 2014