Jazz greats Ron Carter & Richard Galliano team up for a rare live performance

Turning 80 this year, bass man Ron Carter has few peers left standing from jazz’s mid-20th century second golden age. His staggering number of collaborations has earned him a Guinness World Record as Most Recorded Jazz Bassist, boasting over 2,200 individual credits to his name in a career that started with Eric Dolphy in 1960 and included a stint in one of Miles Davis’ most celebrated quintets alongside Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams.

Richard Galliano and Ron Carter
Ron Carter © Fortuna Sung

Likewise, French accordionist Richard Galliano is something of a legend: He spent his early years in Paris striving to establish his instrument in the field of jazz, paving the way for others while adding musette elements on the advice of his friend, Astor ­Piazzolla. Sharing a love for experimentation, Carter and Galliano have been sporadically playing together for decades now, issuing an intimate live recording of the two of them jamming in Paris in 1990, Panamanhattan. Still thriving, the duo is now revived and on the road again touring Europe; as always, neither Carter nor Galliano pander to any expectations when it comes to their respective ­instruments.

Rather than diving into fusion and the avant-garde experimentalism at the end of the 1960s – as many did after Miles Davis’ game-changing Bitches Brew – Carter remained committed to transforming the double bass from a bit player to a leading voice in jazz: A melodic testament to Carter’s origins as a classical cellist before that path was cut short by racial prejudice in the United States at the time. He has since embarked on a successful career on cello as well.

In conjunction with Galliano’s Parisian influences, the nature of jazz’s international language has rarely been more distinct. With his accordion, Galliano can conjure tones and phrases akin to solo trumpeters, while Carter often imbues his strings with equal parts baroque melodicism and smoky jazz dive cool. Few duos have more to say about the deep connection between European tradition and American jazz.

Even at this later stage in such illustrious careers, the magnitude of a humble double bass and accordion playing in a room as vast and ornate as the Konzerthaus’ Großer Saal is stirring. Refusing to yield or relent, continuing to improvise and compose new material some six decades down thoroughly unusual paths – it’s undeniably impressive. And yet, it’s the intimate persona of their music that remains its most winsome aspect.


 

Ron Carter & Richard Galliano

Mar 21, 19:30
Konzerthaus
3., Lothringerstrasse 20