Ioanna Yeorgakopoulou

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EMI  PA 5749

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The 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 one.

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 !

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