129

The Pandelis Karayorgis Trio: Heart and Sack

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
The liner notes to this disc quote the Greek modernist composer Iannis Xenakis; while Heart and Sack by the Pandelis Karayorgis Trio does not have Xenakis' spiky amelodicism, pianist Karayorgis is clearly aware of the territory staked out by Xenakis and his peers. These ten tracks all have a solid jazz sense of forward motion, courtesy the fine drummer Randy Peterson and the superlative bassist Nate McBride, not to mention the directed sensibilities of Karayorgis himself. However, Karayorgis, while never straying too far from a melodic thread, works into his jazz trio some of the sounds and rhythms of music like that of Xenakis. He achieves a synthesis that is delightful and very much his own.

There are six originals by Karayorgis, one from McBride, and covers of Duke Ellington's "Frustration," Eric Dolphy's "Miss Ann," and Ken McIntyre's "Lautir," which McIntyre first recorded with Dolphy. "Lautir" is darker-edged than the original, enhancing the inherent exotica of the tune into a sense of real foreboding; "Miss Ann" is a rush of harmonic exploration that is barely recognizable. "Frustration" is given no less of a modernist reshaping, with fascinating interplay between Karayorgis' left-hand and then right-hand sallies, and McBride's bowed replies.

McBride is no less outstanding on Karayorgis' "What Did I Say?" and "How Daisies Jiggle." Both are angular, halting melodies, on which Karayorgis' searching piano musings are punctuated and underscored exquisitely by the bassist. Another Karayorgis piece, "Straight Blues," is a bit of a fib, although there is a blues skeleton here, over which Karayorgis plays like Stravinsky, when Igor was imagining what the ragtime he saw on a page of sheet music sounded like. That is no putdown: this is a reshaping of the blues, via the European classical tradition, for the ages. No less effective are Karayorgis' "I Heard Things," "Corpus Delicti," and the title track, and McBride's ironic call-and-response "Half Tilt."

This trio has found something new to say, and new ways to say it, in the well-traveled territory of the piano trio. This is an excellent disc, highly recommended.

| Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Right Up On CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Wanderlust CD/LP/Track Review Wanderlust
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Imagination CD/LP/Track Review Imagination
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Evolution CD/LP/Track Review Evolution
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 23, 2017
Read On A Monday Evening CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1" CD/LP/Track Review Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Earprint" CD/LP/Track Review Earprint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "The Dead Man" CD/LP/Track Review The Dead Man
by James Nadal
Published: April 4, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!