Mulo Francel and Nicole Heartseeker: Forever Young

To call this easy on the ear would be like calling monsoons slightly damp or space slightly big: it’s really easy to listen to.

The gist of is it that “globetrotting saxophonist” (cf the Press notes) Mulo Francel, part of jazz-world group Quadro Nuevo, has teamed up with classically-trained pianist Nicole Heartseeker to “cast a new perspective” on the music of past masters from Bach to Caccini and Schumann to Piazzolla. There’s a video to go with this as the duo asks portraits of the composers if they can revisit their music.

“Ask the master if we can do it” says a cartoon version of Nicole before cartoon Mulo asks Mr Schumann if they can play around with his music.

The general drift is that Nicole lays down a gentle piano rendition of the classical piece they’re perspectivising (is that a word?) with Mulo gently improvising over the top. Occasionally Nicole takes the lead.

It’s not classical and not jazz but somewhere chilled in between. You’d be hard pressed to guess the original classic piece the music is based on; baroque Mr Vivaldi becomes lounge music, operatic Mr Handel becomes lounge music, etc. Although while it might be easy to listen to, it’s never boring, Mulo bringing in subtle elements of world or tango just to make it interesting.

Nicole recalls: “An evening with friends and lots of wine. I sat down at the piano and played the Adagio by Marcello and Bach. Mulo took his saxophone and unabashedly dissolved the melodic structures. I wanted to capture the fascination of this moment. That’s how the idea for Forever Young was born.” That’s about the spirit of it: have a glass of wine, press play, relax. In fact: if we see a better name than Nicole Heartseeker this year, we’ll buy you that glass of wine. All of you.

This is out on Fine Music, FM 313-2.

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