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På skive



inEvitable was initiated by Greek, Berlin-based classically-trained vibes player Evi Filippou, who adapted and arranged a cycle of Balkan folk songs and jazz and gospel pieces for a jazz quintet augmented with and guests. Filippou explains that she felt a need to explore her cultural roots. «I spent a lot of time thinking about the concept of homeland and heritage. The profound melancholy of Greek traditional music didn’t resonate with me entirely. I was missing the spontaneity and the playful wink at the sight of hardships that one can only find in jazz and improvised music», she said. «We are all immigrants from the land of our dreams».

inEvitable is, obviously, inspired by folk and traditional genres, but Filippou’s arrangements and compositions are fresh and modern, highlighting her gift for playful, choral storytelling. She is joined by the Berlin-based reeds player Eldar Tsalikov, guitarist Arne Braun, drummer Moritz Baumgärtner and double bass player Felix Henkelhausen.  Tenor sax player Julius Gawlik and clarinetist Jone Bolibar join the band to solidify the brass band effect; vocalist Lara Alarcón imitates the polyphonic singing of the mountain of Eipiros, acoustic guitarist Katerina Fotinaki brings the Cretan lyrical sound.

The seven pieces suggest a touching, multicultural mosaic of distorted flashes of modernity and of tender, ethereal explorations of archaic musical forms. The album is structured like a journey that visits all the seminal influences on Filippou as a musician, composer and improviser. It begins with an uplifting adaption of a traditional dance song from the island of Corfu «Perdika Reloaded». Filippou’s original «Maria» has a beautiful, untimely melody that embraces her Greek heritage, her classical studies and her improvisation and bandleader skills.  The following «Spa of Niš» is based on the classic and still very popular Serbian folk dance song «Niška Banja».

Austrian pianist Elias Stemeseder’s short «Resolution Point» stress the complex jazz twists of this piece and the way Filippou navigates and leads her band. «Hymns to the Sun» is an instrumental adaption of a song by Greek singer-songwriter Angélique Ionatos, who passed away last year. Alarcón sings gently with an ethereal voice «The Apple Tree», an improvisation on «I Milia» by Creatan musician-composer Loudovikos ton Anogeion. inEvitable ends with «Ode to A.L.B.B.»,  Filippou’s joyful and playful, New Orleans-ian arrangement to the famous gospel song «Just a closer walk with Thee».

Eyal Hareuveni 

Evi Filippou (vib, perc, v), Arne Braun (g), Eldar Tsalikov (as, cl), Felix Henkelhausen (b), Moritz Baumgärtner (dr), Julius Gawlik (ts, cl), Jone Bolibar Núñez (cl, bcl9, Lara Alarcón (v), Katerina Fotinaki (g)

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