The changing politics of Greece have transformed Mikis Theodorakis from a political outcast who composed wonderful music, into a national treasure whose music speaks of — and to — the very soul of the Greeks. The inimitable "Zorbas," which opens this album with its crisp bouzouki lines, draws from Greek folk music, and the sounds of the villages and tavernas, essentially summing up the Greek countryside in one composition. Greece's rustic side runs throughout this disc, as on the gorgeously aching "Vrechi Sti Ftochoguitonia." But there's also a more cosmopolitan — yet equally wistful — side to Theodorakis, as on "To Treno Fegvui Stis Otko," where the light and shade of a city evening flits through the music. To single out the pieces here as his very best perhaps sleights the rest of his impressive work, but it makes for a graceful introduction rife with loving beauty.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.11.14 in Features
Five music critics discuss the best, worst, and most significant moments in Latin music this year.
By Michaelangelo Matos on 12.08.14 in Reviews
For all the quality mining of African oldies over three and a half decades, it's not as if the coffers have been exhausted. Far from it, especially judging from this nonstop display of one of the great bands of the Congo...
By Claire Lobenfeld on 11.29.14 in News
Spice, Jamaica's queen of dancehall, is gearing up to release her debut EP So Mi Like It. With her contribution to Vybz Kartel's "Rampin Shop," another bananas collab between the two called "Conjugal Visit" and her most...
By John Schaefer on 11.24.14 in Reviews
In this 50th-anniversary romp through Terry Riley's In C, a brilliant ensemble of Malian musicians (mostly playing traditional instruments) joins forces with Damon Albarn, the globetrotting frontman of Blur and Gorillaz;...