8

Ilios Steryannis: Bethany Project

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Ilios Steryannis: Bethany Project
Toronto-based drummer Ilios Steryannis calls the sounds on his Bethany Project "World Music From the Heart."  Thes sound is a musical stew stirred up from Afro-Cuban rhythms, the Mediterranean sounds, John Coltrane, and ebullient West African percussions (and more), spiced with danceable funk and bebop, and drawing influences from, by turns, Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude, Macedonian sounds, and—on "The Ornado"—the whirlwind motions of the leader's four year old son.

That's a big world to draw from. The potential for a lack of a cohesive vision from the use of such a broad pallet could have drained off the artistic and thematic focus. But it didn't. With superb arrangements, consistently catchy tunes and the highest level of musicianship and ensemble virtuosity—the sum of the parts creating  uplifting atmospheric—Steryannis and his mid-sized groupings have created a  marvelously engaging world music/good time sound.

"Group of Seven opens the set with an Afro-Cuban groove called rumba guaguanco, an infectious 7/4 percolation,  congas, timbales and drums cooking along at a medium  heat behind bari and alto saxophones. "Keep the Change" celebrates the chord progression of Coltrane's "Giant Steps." "Mombasa Lisa" features sinewy interweavings of alto sax and guitar, African-style, and "Florina" nods to Sterryannis' father's hometown, Florina, Greece, sounding like Greek folk music meets hard driving rock, with guitar, alto sax and Hammond B3 burning bright inside fluid Eastern European rhythms.

The disc closes with "Soledad," inspired by the Gabriel Garcia Marquez masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude, a laid-back Afro-Cuban groove that suggests a  peaceful twilight in the mythical Macondo.

Track Listing

The Group of 7, Keep The Change, College Street Knowledge, Mombasa Lisa, Florina, The Ornado, ScoJoe, Alek's 11, Mangambe, To Infinity, Soledad.

Personnel

Sundar Viswanathan - Alto and Soprano Saxophones, Kenny Kirkwood - Baritone Saxophone, Eric St-Laurent - Guitar, Scott Neary - Guitar, Joel Visentin - Keyboards, Connor Walsh - Bass, Adam Hay - Congas, Larry Graves - Percussion, Ilios Steryannis - Drums.

Album information

Title: Bethany Project | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Prism
Prism
Conference Call
Read Conspiracy
Conspiracy
Terje Rypdal
Read Freya
Freya
Tineke Postma
Read Unearth
Unearth
New Hermitage
Read Deep Resonance
Deep Resonance
Ivo Perelman
Read Sun Trance
Sun Trance
Markus Reuter
Read Lies
Lies
Clemens Kuratle Murmullo

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.