Stunning performance in front of a huge audience at the open air Odeon of Herodes Atticus, as Charles Lloyd, uniquely-expressive saxophonist, and Maria Farantouri, Greece’s voice of resistance, come together. Friends for some years, this is their first recorded collaboration. Lloyd’s brilliant quartet is on hand - with Jason Moran in especially creative mode - augmented by lyra player Socratis Sinopoulos and second pianist Takis Frazio in a marvelous programme that includes songs by Mikis Theoedorakis, suites of Greek traditional music, Eleni Karaindrou’s “Journey to Kythera” and Lloyd originals including his classic “Dream Weaver”. “Athens Concert” is a major event, a very special live album indeed.
The distinctive cry of Sokratis Sinopoulos’ Constantinople lyra has previously been heard on ECM recordings of Eleni Karaindrou (The Weeping Meadow, Elegy of the Uprooting, Medea) and Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri (Athens Concert). The Athens-born Sinopoulos has played a key role in the revival of interest in the lyra in Greece, both in traditional music contexts and in the shaping of new music. Sinopoulos’s reflective compositions and yearning ballads on Eight Winds cede the central melodic role to the lyra, sensitively supported by the piano of Yann Keerim and the subtle bass and drums of Dimitris Tsekouras and Dimitris Emmanuel.
“Hagar’s Song”, the newest release from long-time ECM luminary Charles Lloyd, is an interactive duo recording with Jason Moran, the pianist who has been a key member of Lloyd’s latter-day quartet, contributing to the albums Rabo de Nube (2008), Mirror (2010) and Athens Concert (2012). The album features pieces especially dear to Lloyd, ranging from compositions by Billy Strayhorn (“Pretty Girl” a/k/a “Star-Crossed Lovers”), Duke Ellington (“Mood Indigo”), George Gershwin (“Bess, You Is My Woman Now”) and Earl Hines (“Rosetta”) to a standard strongly associated with Billie Holiday (“You’ve Changed”), Brian Wilson’s most famous Beach Boys ballad (“God Only Knows”) and a Bob Dylan song definitively interpreted by the Band (“I Shall Be Released”).
Maria Farantouri is a Greek singer and also a political and cultural activist. She has collaborated with prominent Greek composers such as Mikis Theodorakis, who wrote the score for Pablo Neruda's Canto General, which Farantouri performed. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked Farantouri the 18th top-certified female artist in the nation's phonographic era (since 1960).
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. When Charles Lloyd brought his new band to Monterey in 1966, a band that included Keith Jarrett on piano, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and the inimitable – though young – Cecil McBee on bass, no one knew what to expect. But they all left floored and this LP is the document of that set. It is difficult to believe that, with players so young (and having been together under a year), Lloyd was able to muster a progressive jazz that was so far-reaching and so undeniably sophisticated, yet so rich and accessible. For starters, the opening two title tracks, which form a kind of suite (one is "Forest Flower-Sunrise," the other "Sunset"), showcased the already fully developed imagination of Jarrett as a pianist.