Two of my favorite recordings for kicking back and relaxing are linked by the always lyrical trumpet and flugelhorn player Paolo Fresu. The two discs are ripe for contemplation, perhaps over a nice glass of red wine, or more precisely, per the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, with "a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou."
Mare Nostrum (2008)
Mare Nostrum was the Roman name for the Mediterranean Sea, and one can easily picture sitting on its sun drenched coast, on a beach or in a small square, listening to this elegant recording by three acknowledged European masters at their craft. Wistful at times, playful at others; tranquil and restrained often, but then light and up-tempo in others; the images evoke the pleasures of the late afternoon when work is done and the pleasures of the evening begin. The accordion in particular creates a Parisian mood, and nostalgia for sitting at a cafe, idling in a park, or strolling the streets of the Latin Quarter or other quaint arrondissements.