Galliano is used as a base for a drink called "The hot shot". It's served in a shot-glass (surprise, surprise) and consists of 1/3 ice-cold Galliano on the bottom, then 1/3 hot coffee, and finally whipped cream on the top.

I love this drink, very nice experience, first you taste the warm coffee, and then it starts to mix with the cold Galliano in your mouth, very nice. But don't drink too many though, that's also experience speaking.

Amazingly enough, it seems that few people have actually heard of this "collective" of jazz "mutineers". They no longer exist as a band and are currently pursuing solo projects, but their "corpus" of music - four superb albums - should certainly not be overlooked. They enjoyed a brief spell of chart success with the single "Long Time Gone" in 1994, a cover of a David Crosby song, and this was when I first started to adore their unique (in my opinion) brand of jazzfunksoulrap sweetness. It is rare to find a music that not only sounds so wonderfully pleasing to the ears but also makes you sit up and take note of what they are actually saying. This is not to say that they are a "serious" band, but they do address themes like conservation and racism ("Twyford Down", "57th minute of the 23rd hour"). On the other extreme however, they display a brilliant musical and lyrical humour ("Stoned Again", "Totally Together").

They were one of the original groups to fall under the acid jazz label, but, although there are clear overtones of this musical genre, they really are very difficult to put into any particular pigeon-hole. This of course means that they should appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes, indeed, any one of my friends who has been sat down and forced to listen to the sweet vibes of the gallianomeister, has liked and usually grown to love them.

Dates and Names for those who would like to know...

They formed in 1988, led by the acid house DJ Rob Gallagher (decks / rap / vocals) and were signed to the Talkin' Loud label. They can be described as an evolving collective, some of their long term members include Valerie Etienne (vocals) who released a solo album in 1999 "For What it is", Mark Vandergucht (guitars), Ernie McKone (Bass) and Crispin Taylor (Drums). Other notable contributors include Carleen Anderson and Omar (on the album "A Joyful Noise Unto The Creator").

Their initial influences appear to be The Last Poets and Curtis Mayfield, but just as their music is eclectic in its style, so is the variety of artists who precede it. In fact, a list of their influences appears in the cover notes to their first album "In pursuit of the 13th Note", released in 1991.


In Pursuit of the 13th Note (1991, Talkin' Loud)

First offering from the collective, "Welcome to the Story" gives you a good idea of whats coming - soulful jazz/funk/rap fusion...and then the next track "Sweet you like your favourite gears" has a bit of a skat overtone to it. Stand out tracks include "Storm clouds gather", "57th minute...", "Stoned Again", "Power and Glory".

A Joyful Noise Unto The Creator (1992, Talkin' Loud)

This has to be my favourite Galliano album, full of powerful, intelligent, musically superior tunes and it is probably the ideal starting point for anyone wishing to experiment. Enter the Didgeridoos, for the intro "Grounation (Pt 1)" and then the soulful funk of "Jus' Reach" hits you with its full force. "Earth Boots" has a brilliant tongue in cheek sarcasm about it and the comic element is also apparent in "Totally Together". "So much Confusion", and "Prince of Peace" are my particular favourites - serious messages here people, but beautiful tunes.

The Plot Thickens (1994, Talkin' Loud)

Clever Clever Galliano, the tune that starts this album is a new version of "Welcome to the Story", first heard on album number one. This album certainly has a more serious overtone in general, "Twyford Down" is a direct comment on the area of countryside under threat of being destroyed by a motorway bypass at the time. Etienne's fabulous voice is more prevalent on this album and is displayed brilliantly in tracks like "Rise and Fall" and "Long Time Gone". Gallagher also sings much more on here - showing he not only raps like a God (a bit Gill Scott-Heronesque perhaps?) but has a sweet voice too - ("Cold Wind" and "Travels the Road"). I actually like the final track on this, "Better All The Time", it's another one of those feel good songs with pretty harmonies.

4 (1996, Talkin' Loud)

The best "beginning" to an album that I have ever heard - I won't spoil it for you, just make sure the volume is loud when you hear it! The very first track is still very obviously acid jazz but listen to that vicious bass line! This album certainly feels progressive, you can hear echoes of a more "dance" orientated music here. ("Ease Your Mind", "Thunderhead", and "Best Lives of our Days" - the latter with Red Snapper) Then you also have some really beautiful, dare I say it, "Chill Out" tunes - ("Slack Hands" and "Roofing Tiles") . My favourites, "Slightly Frayed", "Funny How" and "Western Front".

And in conclusion...

If you like acid jazz, "chilled" rap, funk, soul or simply if you enjoy music that deviates from the usual commercial dirge, then give them a go, you'll regret it if you don't....I promise! Makes great listening whilst drinking a cup of tea late at night.....

n.b. A remix album was released in 1994 "A Thicker Plot" and a live album in 1997 "Live at the Liquid Rooms". The albums above are UK releases only.

How to get a liqueur named after you

For Italian Major1 Giuseppe Galliano, it took abandoning a besieged fort and then dying at the hands of an overwhelmingly larger Ethiopian army. To be fair to the Major, he and his garrison stationed at the Ethiopian town of Makalle held out for 41 days before being offered safe passage for a fee by besieger Menelik II on January 6, 1896. Having escaped certain death at the "Enda Jesus" fort, Giuseppe and his men rejoined the Italian army of approximately 20,000 troops who faced an Ethiopian army of about 100,000 and almost certain death. The Battle of Adowa2, fought on March 1, 1896 proved to be a crushing defeat for Italian expansionist plans in East Africa. Giuseppe died during a poorly-executed retreat on Mount Bellah during the battle.

The maker and the making

Arturo Vaccari, an Italian distiller from Tuscany created an herb liqueur in 1896 and decided to name it after the war hero. The yellow color of Galliano is supposedly to symbolize the gold rush, as many Italians were emigrating to California to seek their fortune at the time. Herbs found in Italy - mint, anise, and lavender - along with other plants found outside of Italy such as cinnamon, coriander, and vanilla are a few of the ingredients found in the 70 proof (35% alcohol) liqueur.

With its exact recipe a secret, estimates range from 25 to 80 different ingredients to give Galliano its distinct taste. Vanilla is the predominant flavor of the bunch, which includes angelica, ginger, and juniper to name a few. According to one source, the distillation process begins with all the herbs, plants, roots, berries, and spices except the vanilla infused into a neutral alcohol base, which is then distilled and the vanilla added. Sugar, water, and more neutral alcohol are added in the final stage to produce Galliano which is then packaged in its distinctive narrow, tall ridged bottle.

Drinks with Galliano

Probably the most popular mixed drink featuring Galliano is the Harvey Wallbanger - a screwdriver with Galliano added. A few of the over 100 recipes for drinks that include Galliano are: golden Cadillac, lemon drop, sloe comfortable screw, hot shot, root beer float, liquid gold, mellow yellow, and the screaming multiple orgasm.

1 Various sources list Giuseppe Galliano's rank as major, major-general, and lieutenant colonel. The majority have him listed as a major, so that's what I went with.

2There are two different spellings for the location of the battle - Adwa is other spelling.


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