Though virtually unknown on these shores, Andreas Georgiou is a master guitarist who has—through not only unorthodox and innovative approaches but also deeply traditional reverences to the instrument—managed to attract some of the cream of the European chamber jazz establishment to his recordings, particularly Eberhard Weber, Paul McCandless, and Savina Yannatou, though they don't appear here. Even just the briefest listen to this CD illustrates why, however, they readily flock to his work.
Georgiou plays 15 and 16-string guitars (as well as a standard electric), instruments sporting a fretboard wider than most men's forearms and, thus, not always the easiest axe to grapple, though he makes it seem as though such were childplay, his fingers disporting themselves a la Ralph Towner, Egberto Gismonti, Alain Markusfeld, or any of the most accomplished fretsmen. To listen to Georgiou's work is to understand the wider implications of the possibilities of the instrument. Modus Vivendi is basically a solo performance augmented occasionally by Dimitris Karaganis' flute and sax, but, hearing Karaganis, it's evident why the guitarist would then attract McCandless: only the most conceptually adept could possibly work in tandem with him.
More arrestingly, the entire CD was recorded live in straight takes with no overdubs, the equivalent of older documents from LP audiophile labels that presented immaculately recorded two-track of-the-moment events breathtaking for their vivacity and freshness. Modus Vivendi indexes perfectly with those. At no point in the entire recital are his powers less than extremely impressive. Even the simplest passages ring with nuance and authority while the complex runs and chordings are luxurious and mesmerizing. This CD, and every single release by Georgiou, is an immersion in modern classical structuring and post-classicalist thought and exposition…nonetheless clearly retaining the timelessness of long bygone days.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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