All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

8

Ilios Steryannis: Bethany Project

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
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.

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

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

The Group of 7

The Group of 7

Ilios Steryannis
Bethany Project

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Bethany Project

Bethany Project

Self Produced
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Colours of Sound CD/LP/Track Review
Colours of Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 23, 2018
Read A Blast From The Past CD/LP/Track Review
A Blast From The Past
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Rhapsody CD/LP/Track Review
Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018
Read You're Driving Me Crazy CD/LP/Track Review
You're Driving Me Crazy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "Journey to Knowhere" CD/LP/Track Review Journey to Knowhere
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 28, 2018
Read "Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin" CD/LP/Track Review Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin
by Doug Collette
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Backstage Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Backstage Pass
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Glow of Benares" CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Heliosonic Toneways Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Heliosonic Toneways Vol. 1
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "The Apple Of No" CD/LP/Track Review The Apple Of No
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 2, 2017