88.2kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Ponderoso 1155493592 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

This collaboration with Sylvain Luc, André Ceccarelli, and Philippe Aerts delivers nearly 90 minutes of traditional French jazz – by definition, a genre featuring virtuoso accordion playing in every piece. What fun it is – mostly upbeat, very energetic, and totally engaging. The rollicking title track sets the tone for what proves to be a wide-ranging musical tour – from moody (‘Giselle’, ‘Nice Blues’, ‘Ballade Pour Marion’ and ‘Love Day’) to exhilarating (‘Fou Rire’, ‘Waltz For Nicky’ and ‘Viaggio’) to dramatic (‘Azul Tango’). This album achieves the near impossible in that every track – and there are 18 – is excellent, and the recording quality consistently excellent too. It’s difficult to pick a favourite, but ‘Tango Pour Claude’ may come close. Tremendous rhythms and ace musicianship make this album ideal driving music – or in a mix with say, some rock and Afro-pop, the perfect motive force behind a great party. BW

Sound Quality: 90%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Richard Galliano’s French accordion (musette) has a very dense output, rich in harmonics to beyond 20kHz, but it’s the slap of percussion, and perhaps distortion downstream, that constitutes much of this file’s ultrasonic content. PM