British guitarist Andreas Hagiioannu spent his teens in experimental/improvisatory rock music and his late teens with fusion. It was only when he started listening to guitarists like Kenny Burrell and Jimmy Raney that he shifted gears on the instrument. As a jazz guitarist, Hagiioannu honed his craft by working in the cafes and bars of the Midlands area of Great Britain as both composer and guitarist.
Hagiioannu's debut, Far & Wide, is important in several ways. He plays all original material that is largely familiar to jazz aficionados as songs that sound like they belong in the Great American Songbook even though they are not. He plays these original songs on both acoustic and electric guitar, including several solo performances on archtop guitar. The acoustic material is usually performed solo and finger-picked on tunes including "You Light the Way" and "Martha. Drummer Alan Savage contributes sizzling kit work on much of the material, sparking these performances up another notch. Dirk Griffin is the bassist.
What makes Hagiioannu's presentation so good is that on the trio tunes, the plectrist's artistry, and solidness of the material combines as something new, even as it sounds strangely familiar.
The delivery of the acoustic and solo performances is more routine, but Hagiioannu is pleasure to listen to.
Track Listing: Monsieur Reynard; Persis the Beloved; Sundial; Far and Wide; Quinine; For the Disappearing; Strange Days; Look Both Ways; You Light the Way; Aventunne (Golden Ratio); Martha; The Gambetta; Bluebird; Newborn.
Personnel: Andreas Hagiioannu: guitar; Dirk Griffin: bass; Alan Savage: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
Login to your All About Jazz member account to submit articles and press releases, upload images, edit musician profiles, add events and business listings, communicate with other members via personal messages, submit inqueries or contribute any content.