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“An Ode To The Light” – a lyrical and tensional musical story
Christos’ debut album as a band leader featuring his compositions and arrangements
Released by Timezone Records on January 26, 2018
Recorded by Peter Brümmer in Gasteig Cultural Center, Munich
Mixed by Dimitris Karpouzas at Lizard Sound Studios, Athens
Mastered by Christoph Stickel at CS Mastering, Munich
Album Artwork by Nikos Gazetas
Video by Joachim Jung
Photos by Thomas Lackner
The drummer Christos Asonitis, born in Athens in 1974, after years of active presence in the Greek jazz scene, lives and creates in Munich since 2012.
Along with Bastien Rieser, a promising young trumpeter, the Hungarian Mark Pusker with the warm and brilliant sound of his saxophone, the multi creative pianist Maruan Sakas as well as the sought-after bassist Lorenz Heigenhuber.
The listeners experience an electrifying symbiosis of modern jazz and elements inspired by the composer’s personal experiences as well as by historical and mythological events of his homeland. The spectrum ranges from lyrical-melodic moods with fine Greek folkloric elements, polyphonic sound images up to rousing rhythms, which form a virtuosic tension.
”Christos Asonitis is such an ingenious and unobtrusive, highly cultured and exuberant drummer, who gives the small set a great abundance of nuances without slipping into routine mechanics.”
(The New Listener, May 2016)
“Everything on “An Ode to the Light” refers to quality. A dense and impenetrable jazz, built of exceptional virtuosity and exquisite use of any space. At the same time, a transparent jazz, open to different explanation by the listener, vulnerable to feelings and generous in images.”
(Antonis Kalamoutsos, Against the silence, January 2018)
“Christos Asonitis in his debut album “An Ode to the Light” as a bandleader did a serious job. He made an album with his own distinctive sound, without the unnecessary repetitions and babbling. A job that exudes experience, professionalism and high skill. To the end product contributed of course the smart selection of the young musicians who were willing (as it turned out) to support Christos’ vision with their talent. Finally, let’s not underestimate all the hidden work that has been done. From the recording, the mix and all the work of the background to the elaborate and sleek design of the cover.”
(Vasilis Lioris, Moonshine Radio – Jazz On The Web, February 2018)
“In the foreground of this album is the community, the humanity and the interaction. Of course, the variety of rhythms testifies to the fact that Asonitis thinks from percussion, fusing the influences of its Greek homeland with others, especially from the Caribbean, and no less, of course, proves to be a gifted melodic.”
(Oliver Fraenzke, The New Listener, March 2018)
Few words about the compositions
Color En El Oscuro
The opening track of the album tells the destructive changes of feelings that can cause the coming of love in a period marked by frustration and sadness. A spectrum of light (color) of joy and optimism thrives through the uncertain and restless “mental darkness,” likewise the distinctive rhythm of Cha Cha Cha towards the end of the track…
A second sunny day of the month began a journey, a change in my life that lasts until today. The groovy Second Day with the polyphonic melody split into two horns captures the features of this journey by approaching the composer’s dreams and expectations.
Fos (An Ode To The Light)
Fos is the Greek word for “Light” … life and energy, knowledge and truth, harmony and order, purity and wisdom … concepts that are related to it. Inspired by my visit to the archaeological site of Delphi, the composition is an ode to what we all come from and where we all end up …
Blue And Gray
Two different colors represent joy and sorrow, such as the contrast of the blue and cloudy sky. Two different emotions that oppose and complement each other, just like the two parallel tonalities that characterize the composition with their constant alternations.
Ta Matoklada Sou Laboun (Your eyelids glow)
A jazz arrangement on the well-known song of the “high priest” of rebetiko music Markos Vamvakaris. 6 on 9 polyrhythm, trumpet improvisation on Greek zeibekikos rhythm and psychedelic voices of the double bass played with bow, are just some of the features that uniquely represent the female beauty, which inspired the great songwriter.
The month, with its contradicting, personal events, has played a mail role in the route of my life, from the moment I first saw the mundane light to this day. The melancholic piano ostinato accompanies the lyrical solo bass, which in turn leads to the basic theme. Minor and major tonality alternate and end up in the atmospheric solo drums and from there to the improvisations of the theme. Personal experiences are transformed into musical notes …
Ancient Dance 490 B.C.
This particular synthesis describes the battle of Marathon, which is the battle between the Greeks (Athenians and Plataeans) and the Persians in the first invasion of the latter in Greece in 490 BC. Usak (phrygian) scale (main element of Greek folk music), power chords, modal harmony and Afro-Cuban rhythms create a musical alloy that keeps the listener alert. An alternating game of tension and relaxation just like the phases of the battle.
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