voice of Rebetissis Ioanna Yeorgakpoulou has always been reminiscent
of the late great American Jazz singer Billie Holiday. Specifically
because her vocal style was just as fluid, just as languid, just as
effortless and more often then not, just as deadly! However
Yeorgakapoulou's most intriguing vocal characteristic is one you may
not necessarily notice straight away and that is the ability of that
extraordinary voice of hers, to kind of sneak right up on you when you least
expect it. Billie Holiday also had that very rare quality. When you first listen to Yeorgakapoulou, you immediately notice
her style is pleasant and ingratiating enough, though you
might also note, there is something a bit unusual about it but for some
reason you just can't put you finger on what that attribute might be.
Yeorgakpoulou never really tries to overpower you with any type of gratuitous
vocal pyrotechnics or melodramatically inspired Diva "high wire" act.
She has a style that is subtle, understated and
most of the time, unusually transparent. After you've heard her
for the first time, you might say to yourself, not bad let's hear it again then again and again once more.
Eventually it finally begins to dawn on you (as you're now listening
with an increasingly attentive ear, to her subtle phrasing and unique
liquid-like laid-back legato), that Ioanna Yeorgakapoulou has
somehow in some mystical fashion, weaved her seductive magical spell
over you and your now nothing more then a mass of Putty, hooked and
addicted for the rest of your aimless and chaotic life. Don't fight it just let it happen and go with the flow.Trust Chicago on this
CD contains 14 songs recorded from 1938 to 1954. Most of these are
Classic Rebetic material from the second period and also feature
Manolis Hiotis on Bouzouke. The sonic quality of the CD is
spotty to be sure, but it's still quite discernable for the most part.
This collection was compiled in 1987 from the original recordings
with seemingly little if any remastering employed. The end result is a
marginal but passable product though it isn't anything you'd want to
write home about. In fact on many of these tracks one can
clearly detect what I feel is an excessive amount of background noise
for a disk released in 1987. Time for EMI to go back to the vault and
run these tracks (along with a few others) through a digital
Restoration process of sorts. However all technical caveats aside,
the CD is well worth the price of admission. I have yet to hear
a single cut by Ioanna Yeorgakapoulou that was not. And oh
that voice !