Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba released one of the great jazz records of 2008 with the jazz/hip-hop exploration Avatar, but though this partnership with French accordionist Richard Galliano stays close to a silvery, gracefully dancing, cabaret and soft-jazzy style, the improvisational drive is unmistakable. Rubalcaba has a glistening sound and touch and a surging, Herbie Hancock-like dynamism. Galliano’s comparably-nuanced delicacy is hitched to a sonic resourcefulness that enables his instrument to pass from a flute-like shimmer to a church-organ roar. Bass legend Charlie Haden and former Miles and Weather Report drummer Milu Cinelu play a quiet supportive role on this musical representation of a day, or a life – from the slow assimilation of waking, through the animation of discovery (on Bonjour, and Birds), and on to twilit contemplation and reflection. The melodies are mostly fragile and lightly-struck, often over shuffling brushes – the title track is a lilting slow melody as casual as a soft whistle, the meditative accordion overture to the classical Aria brings cafe and church-organ music together as Galliano can so devastatingly do. Though this is a much more reflective album than might be expected from such dynamic participants, it’s meticulously musical and wistfully lyrical.