Recorded in 2010 at the open air Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens Concert is a gorgeous 2CD live concert featuring US sax/flute player Charles Lloyd and Greek vocalist Maria Farantouri, accompanied by Jason Moran (piano), Reuben Rogers (double-bass), Eric Harland (drums), Socratis Sinopoulos (lyra), and Takis Farazis (piano).
Seeing as Farantouri is not necessarily a jazz singer, her ability to merge her Greek classical, opera, and pop style with Lloyd's swinging jazz makes Athens Concert a highly listenable affair. If you are into jazz and haven't had a chance to check out Lloyd over the last few decades, you are really missing out, but this live 2CD set features him in full flight throughout, delivering sulty, smoky sax melodies and soaring flute that's never showy but always immensely addicting. The songs here are a mix of Lloyd originals and traditional Greek numbers, so there's plenty of variety to go around. Highlights include the sweeping "Dream Weaver" (Moran's piano is lovely here), the passionate vocal & sax overlay on "Prayer", the tranquil "Blow Wind", and of course the extended three part "Greek Suite ", which is made up of 11 pieces, and features plenty of majestic musical arrangements and Maria's operatic vocals.
The entire 2CD set features a nice, warm recording, and toss in a lovely booklet filled with color photos and info, and you have a very different but highly enjoyable new release from the folks at ECM.
1) Kratissa ti zoi mou;
2) Dream Weaver;
3) Blow Wind;
5) Greek Suite, Part I:
6) Hymnos stin Ayia Triada,
7) Epano sto xero homa,
8) Messa stous paradissious kipous;
9) Taidi sta Kythera.
2) Greek Suite, Part II: Vlefaro mou,
4) Thlassaki mou;
5) Greek Suite, Part III: Epirotiko meroloi,
6) Kægomæ kæ sigoliano,
7) Mori kontoula lemonia,
8) Alismono kæ hæromæ,
9) Tou hel' to kastron; ZYanni mou.