Yedi Kule - Savina Yannatou*, Primavera En Salonico - Songs Of Thessaloniki
Label: ECM Records - ECM 2398,ECM Records - 470 9151 • Format: CD Album, Promo • Country: Germany • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: Folk
Once known colloquially Yedi Kule - Savina Yannatou* the Jerusalem of the Balkans, Thessaloniki has been home to a host of cultures, religions and ethnic communities. As ever, Primavera en Salonico are a delight, one of the most resourceful bands of any idiom, as they negotiate the inspired — and very varied — arrangements of Kostas Yedi Kule - Savina Yannatou*. The old city is home to the singer and her virtuoso band, Primavera en Salonico.
But this track set is far more than a collection of songs from a particular place — especially one as socially complex as Thessaloniki. Historically, it drew travelers, immigrants and refugees of many creeds, cultures and religions: Sephardic Jews at one time its biggest populationTurks, Pontiac Greeks, Armenians, Serbs, Bulgarians, even Northern Europeans. It flowered in the late 19th and early 20th century, as many religions and cultures lived in relative harmony until near the end of the First World War.
This music reflects the transcultural past and their influence upon the present. She has always refused fashionable, disciplined classicism in favor Primavera En Salonico - Songs Of Thessaloniki an unaffected roots style that gives her freedom to improvise and uncover tones, rhythms and phrasing otherwise hidden in melody. It commences rapidly, in whispered, terrified spoken lines atop urgently plucked Red Garland Trio* - Groovy and violin.
Eventually a Sephardic melody mournfully asserts itself from the ashes, revealing how much has been lost. Yannatou sings in English, with a Weimar cabaret lilt, underscoring the poignancy in the lyric.
Songs of Thessaloniki is a tribute but it is also an extension of history. Yannatou and Primavera en Salonico made room for the ghost shadows of the musical and cultural past to echo, reverberate and inform their present.
Produced by Manfred Eicher.
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