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Nickos Kapilidis & The Jazz Utopia :: Arothymian
by Leonid Auskern

Based on the publicity of the movies directed by Emir Koustouritsa and the music of Goran Brekovic and Emir Koustouritsa, most of the people think that the Balkan Jazz is played with a nice drive, the south Slavic and Gypsy folk, with the addition of some Improvisation. Actually, in these areas, a very different jazz is played, while at the south of Balkan is the place with a little different but not poorer in quality. This place is Greece.

I feel ashamed but till today, I didn’t have the chance to hear Jazz from Greece. I’m very happy that my first encounter with Greek Jazz happened with the music of Nickos Kapilidis. This is not the first recording of this professional drummer-composer, who is very well known in the Greek Jazz Music scene. The Drummer shows his great interest in the, not so common, rhythms of (5/8-7/8-9/8) and has worked around them deep and in many ways, Which, he’s using very open with his artistic technique.

Exactly for that, with the purpose to Shaw the potential of these rhythms, he formed at 2001 the Band “Jazz Utopia’’ At the beginning they were trio, but on July 2003, in the band added the very well know Greek saxophone player, Takis Paterelis, Changing the trio in to a quartet with which they record the album ‘’Arothymian’’. Nikos Hadjopoulos & Vasso Dimitriou, each have a composition in the album.

All the rest of the tunes are composed by the leader, including the tune that gave the name on the album “ Arothymian’’, with melancholic saxophone solo and melancholic bass lines. This tune, which has to do with nostalgia, is dedicated to Nickos Kapilidis’ parents. Let’s go back in the beginning of this column. So, we can say that Nickos Kapilidis’ and his colleagues’ music is very different and on the opposite side of the music of Bregovic and Koustouritsa. Arothymian is, first of all, the quality jazz mainstream with the exchanging solos of the Instruments, and more often, as you might expect it, from the saxophone player Takis Paterelis, with the support of reach and rhythmic variation.

In many tunes, there are sounds with ethnic character, but this, is not changing the general post-bop direction of the album. I don’t know the exact birthday of Nickos Kapilidis but I know that at 2005 he became 50 years old. I believe though that, Nickos with this album, made a precious present to himself for his birthday’s anniversary. But not only to himself, this is precious gift for those who are Interested in Jazz Music.

For those who interested to learn more about this musician, I’m giving you his web address. http://www.cdbaby.com/kapilidis http://www.nickoskapilidis.gr

published 21.03.2006© 2005 jazz news :: home page

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