Lefteris Kordis | Mediterrana

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Folk: Folk-Jazz Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Lefteris Kordis

The Mediterrana project features Lefteris’ new works that reflect a blend of modern jazz elements with Eastern Mediterranean folk colors and textures.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. In the Land of Phrygians
6:19 $1.29
2. Yota
9:34 $1.29
3. Mediterrana
7:22 $1.29
4. Deep Green
5:29 $1.29
5. The Raven and the Fox
4:21 $1.29
6. Journey with Pilgrims
5:31 $1.29
7. And I Love Her
6:51 $1.29
8. Nas
4:06 $1.29
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“In these times, when we are in great need of fresh examples of intercultural dialogue,
Lefteris Kordis’s music is an abundant source of inspiration.”
Danilo Pérez

“Some 70 years after Dizzy Gillespie incorporated Afro Cuban rhythms into the big-band context, jazz today regularly takes its cue from global musical traditions. A prime example is the colorful, highly intelligent blend of modern jazz elements and aspects of Mediterranean folk-song found on Mediterrana”
-- Michael Harris, DownBeat 4 stars

“The version of Lennon / McCartney's "And I Love Her" is one of two exceptional jazz piano trio interpretations to appear in 2016, the other being Brad Melhdau's on his Blues and Ballads CD.”
-- Scott Albin, Jazz Times

“A stunning example of cross-cultural fusion (Greek and jazz in an acoustic setting) that features Lefteris and his very ear awakening way with the fusion he is all about..” -- Gapple Music Review



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Scott Albin

An alluring jazz trip through the Greek isles
Although born in Athens, Greece, Lefteris Kordis has resided in Boston for nearly 20 years, where he has touched base with jazz artists such as Steve Lacy, Greg Osby, and Sheila Jordan. However, the pianist has not forsaken his Greek roots, collaborating with composer Mikos Theodorakis, traditional clarinetist Vasilis Saleas, singer Panayotis Lalezas, and others. An Hellenic tinge pervades much of the music on Kordis' fifth album as a leader, especially where his core trio with bassist Petros Klampanis and drummer Ziv Ravitz is joined by Roni Eytan on harmonica, Vasilis Kostas on laouto (a Greek fretted lute), Harris Lambrakis on ney (bamboo flute), Alec Spiegelman on clarinets, Sergio Martinez on cajon and claps, and / or the leader himself on Korg Sigma, an analog synthesizer utilized in Eastern Mediterranean festivals and weddings. Kordis' stirring originals (there's also a significant treatment of a Lennon / McCartney tune) take the listener on the imagined journey of a girl who appears in various forms, as a Saracen woman, the Greek goddess Artemis, and Mediterrana (the mother of the Mediterranean paradise), while she travels to Nas in Ikaria Island ("Nas"), Sidirokastro in Serres ("Deep Green"), St. John the Russian church in Evoia ("Journey with Pilgrims"), Asia Minor ("In the Land of the Phrygians"), and at Libyan sea on a Saracen pirate ship ("Mediterrana").
Among the numerous highlights of the CD are the following three tracks. Lambrakis' breathy bamboo flute projects the ethereal melody of "In the Land of the Phrygians," along with Kordis' piano arpeggios, with the flutist and then Kordis on synthesizer creating contrasting Eastern-sounding improvisations, the first wistful, the second ecstatic. Ravitz's robust drum excursion over a piano ostinato leads back to Lambrakis' soaring reprise. "Journey with Pilgrims" was inspired by a pilgrimage bus trip to the Russian church on Evoia island that Kordis participated in as an eight-year-old, with much song and dance. Eytan's harmonica and Kostas' lute combine on the delicate, folk-inflected theme, moody and yearning in its exposition, with Kordis' piano in a mostly secondary supporting role. Kostas' fretted lute solo evokes Indian ragas to some extent, almost as much as Greek music. The version of Lennon / McCartney's "And I Love Her" is one of two exceptional jazz piano trio interpretations to appear in 2016, the other being Brad Melhdau's on his Blues and Ballads CD. Klampanis begins with the And-I-Love-Her riff before Kordis sweetly intones the melody. The bassist's heartfelt statement precedes Kordis' lyrically refined and increasingly impassioned improv, and the interaction of the trio (Ravitz on drums) is extra-sensory.

Juerg Sommer

Vielschichtiger Balkan-Worldjazz (a Swiss newspaper recommendation)
Der griechisch-stämmige Pianist/Komponist Lefteris Kordis war Assistent des Komponisten
Mikis Theodorakis, lebt aber heute in Boston. Dort tüftelt er an einer stilistisch
vielschichtigen Synthese aus aktuellem Jazz und der mitreissenden, vielschichtigtiefgründigen
Musik des Balkans. Auf „Mediterranea“ präsentiert Kordis seine faszinierend
eklektische Musik, eingespielt mit seinem Jazztrio unter Beizug ethnischer Instrumentalisten
(auf der Flöte Ney, auf Laute, Klarinette, Mundharmonika, Kistentrommel Cajón).