on 20 April 2013
This is a very fine debut album from one of the rising stars of British jazz. Yes, alright he is Greek, but he is based here.
Ably accompanied by the Nigel Price Trio Vasilis gives a excellent demonstration of straight ahead modern jazz, nothing that will scare the horses but the sort of album that leaves you smiling. Very much in the mould of the old Blue Note label's recordings - some hard bop, some bebop, some latin, some funk, in fact something for everyone.
All in all a debut to be proud of and an album not to be missed.
I saw Vasilis Xenopoulos live a year or more ago. He was playing in a three tenor front line with Derek Nash (leader) and Karen Sharp. They were playing a tribute to the late Spike Robinson so the music was pretty straight ahead modern jazz. He was mightily impressive and probably stole the show. He was / is a tenorist with a very full tone, in the Hawkins school. As a result I bought a copy of this CD.
I might be the wrong generation for this music. I have been listening to and collecting jazz music for well over fifty years now and will admit that my era is the 1960s, but have always tried to maintain an interest in the current scene and listen to live modern jazz several times a month. (Interestingly the audience is my age; the musicians often half our ages; is there a "youthful" audience for this and similar music?)
I would describe this music as being nearer to dance music (nothing wrong with that per se, jazz started as a dance music) than concert music. As such it is a little to reliant on rhythm which is mainly up tempo. One reviewer describes it as having affinity with the blue note sound....from which period? Not as far as I can see the high period of the late fifties and sixties!
I can see that the music is not without its merits but try to listen before purchase. The quartet (tenor, guitar, organ, drums) play with skill and the beat will carry you along!