Vassilis Tsabropoulos/Anya Lechner/U. T. Gandhi – Melos – ECM

by | Sep 19, 2008 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Vassilis Tsabropoulos/Anya Lechner/U. T. Gandhi – Melos – ECM  2048, 64:10 *****:

(Vassilis Tsabropoulos – piano; Anya Lechner – cello; U. T. Gandhi – percussion)

A follow-up to their critical and commercial 2004 smash hit, Chants, Hymns and Dances, this disc displays all the same virtues, but adds something extra.  What?  Mainly a sure-footedness that allows Tsabropoulos to fully assimilate the Gurdjieff/Byzantium chants that formed the core of the previous disc and transform them into a new musical key while retaining their essence.  Thus all but three of the compositions are Tsabropoulos’.

Navigating the boundaries of classical, jazz, chamber, and world music, Melos finally operates in its own conceptual universe, one ideally suited to the values of space and silence that have guided Manfred Eicher’s ECM label from the very beginning.  What makes this disc such a glorious achievement is the ease with which the players move through, around, and in these disparate though related musical worlds.  Equally adept at high-level interpretation of notated scores, lively improvisation, and authentic evocation of folk materials—something few players have ever assayed let alone pulled off—Tsabropoulos, Lechner, and Gandhi create sounds almost sui generis, yet intimately familiar: music from the very heartbeat of the universe that touches our deepest emotions and yearnings even as it maintains a formal shape and substance that never sinks to mere sentiment. 

This is a disc that should appeal to the widest spectrum of musical interest—classical, popular, jazz, folk, and world sensibilities.  Highest recommendation!


Song of Prosperity I
Tibetan Dance
Gift of Dreams
Song of Gratitude
Song of Prosperity II
Sayyid Dance
Reflections and Shadows
Reading from a Sacred Book (fragment)
In Memory

– Jan P. Dennis

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