| ||PANAYIOTIS KALANTZOPOULOS & SOPHIA PAPAZOGLOU Pempti Apoyevma/ Thursday Afternoon |
Cantini CD CAN 0076
Sophia Papazoglou & Panayiotis Kalantzopoulos
With immense good humour and talent, composer, lyricist and instrumentalist Panayiotis Kalantzopoulos has created a Greek album that in its variety, energy and melodic invention stands proudly in the best traditions of Greek songwriting - think Theodorakis, Hadzidakis, Markopoulos.
Instrumentally much of the genius of the CD lies in Pantelis Stoikos's trumpet. Brass has become fashionable in Greek music recently, but Kalantzopoulos is far too clever in his arrangements merely to mimic the Florina-style bands; here the brass is part East - there is a great trumpet taksim on track 10, I Wish I Had Two Lives, and part South - Mexico and Cuba. The opening track, Can't Get A Cab, uses this to great effect, an evocation in trad jazz style of the wonderful chaos of the Athenian streetscape and its blaring car horns. Kalantzopoulos has also revitalised the bouzouki with orchestrations on songs such as the third track, Mistaken Passion, that do away with the clichés and liberate the power inherent in that instrument. The attention to detail on the CD is exemplified by the employment of the great clarinet player Petroloukas Halkias on just one song.
Sophia Papazoglou has a classic Greek voice, delivering the full range of emotions with eloquent restraint. Her performance on Mistaken Passion demonstrates this to great effect but I suspect it is the powerful I Wish I Had Two Lives, with lyrics by poet Mihalis Ganas, that will for many define this CD. She deserves to be better known than she is, and Thursday Afternoon will certainly enhance her reputation. This is a CD that is full of intelligence and creativity, dealing musically and lyrically with all the great themes, but with no trace of solemnity or pretentiousness. It is quite simply the best Greek CD of its kind in years.