LYRA CD 4778
The Golden Era of "Ta Rebetika" may have come to a close long ago and far away, but apparently someone forgot to tell that to Iordanis Tsomidis. Let me just get right to the bottom line. This recording by Iordanis Tsomidis, is one of the finest present day (1991) recordings of the " Classic " style Rebetiko, performed to perfection in the Grand Manner, that was originally created by Markos Vamvakaris and then some! One of a handful of authentic Rebetis still actively performing, Iordanis Tsomidis consummate virtuosity with the Bouzouke, seems to have lost almost nothing over the years. With a rough course vocal style reminiscent to that of " O Markos " and an instrumental technique the equal of just about anyone who ever picked up a Bouzouke, Iordanis Tsomidis ability to communicate the old Rebetiko Ethos is something of a throwback to another time. There is not a soul out there today, who sounds anything like Iordanis Tsomidis. I have never played this recording for anyone, where it did not at least elicit a response of "DAMN, who is this guy" ! Usually the response is a bit more expressive in nature. This is one of the last of a Breed. There are certainly younger players out there who may play a bit faster, but for my Tetra - Drachma, none of them even comes close to the "Old Master" when it comes to the finer points in the art of instrumental articulation. It seems that almost every note that emanates from his instrument is clean, clear, precise and reproduced with a type of musical Syntax you just don't hear everyday. This CD would be a candidate for one of those Rebetico recordings I would bring along, were I to plan on becoming stranded on that Mythological Deserted Greek Island. The material on this CD was recorded "live" on three separate occasions and the Engineers involved have done an excellent job in capturing the essence of the legendary "Tsomidis fire". Live recordings always seem to present more technical problems then their studio counterparts, due to a number of factors related to the inherent limitations of performing in front of a live audience. However the technical crew have done a splendid job in minimizing most of the extraneous artifacts in these sessions and the sound of Iordanis Tsomidis virtuosity is just plain old fashion glorious and virtually sets the club ablaze. If you are a young or old, budding Bouzouke virtuoso wannabe, not owning this CD is NOT an option ! If you ever see it, GRAB IT and fast. You won't be sorry .