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Dimitris Angelakis: Long Way Home

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Dimitris Angelakis: Long Way Home
Homer's Odyssey is one of the most famous epics in literature, and a major theme associated with this poem is nostos. Nostos in literature is the idea of the hero returning home after a long voyage. Throughout the years, Homer's work has both directly and indirectly influenced countless works of art. Vibraphonist Dimitris Angelakis' Long Way Home builds on this idea of nostos by way of the poet Konstantinos Kavafis.

Angelakis uses Kavafis' poem, "Ithaca'' as the inspiration for this album. Ithaca was, of course, Odysseus' home, and the poem focuses on this journey home. As Angelaikis suggests, we discover ourselves "through the voyages we take, and this is, in fact, the voyage's ultimate goal."

Angelakis has certainly had his own epic musical journey, which began when he was a child in Greece. His father was a famous Greek trumpet player and arranger, and Dimitris eventually made a name for himself in Europe playing both as a sideman and a leader. In 2013, he received a Fullbright scholarship and earned a master's degree at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Long Way Home is his debut recording, and there is a cool vibe throughout.

The album features Angelaikis on vibraphone along with George Kontrafouris on keyboards, Kimon Karoutzos on bass, and Jason Wastor on drums. One musical element that makes the album click is Kontrafouris' Fender Rhodes sound, which is present on much of the album, playing with the vibes. This combination adds a unique element of vitality to the recording. Each of the musicians, however, offers a sense of presence that is very satisfying. This is an ultra-tight quartet that exudes coolness throughout.

The majority of songs included are original compositions, each of which tells a story inspired by Angelakis' travels. He also features Jimmy Van Heusen's "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," Walter Bishop, Jr.'s "Coral Keys," and Bill Evans' "Very Early," each of which could relate to Angelaikis' own musical journey. Overall, the songs have an upbeat and positive feel to them, but it isn't all smooth sailing. Take the song "Ulysses' Journey," for example. As Angelaikis explains, the song "sounds happy, but when you pay closer attention, there are places where darker chords break in." Like many real-life journeys, however, the song brings us back to a happier place.

Long Way Home is serious jazz, but it's also a lot of fun. Many of the songs, such as "Johnny The Liar," "Joe's Corner," and "Murphy" provide a daily dose of swing, but there are also a few softer, more reflective compositions like "Only For You." There is an uplifting quality here, and this is an exceptional debut album. Long Way Home is definitely a trip worth taking.

Track Listing

Murphy; Ulysses' Journey; Only for You; Joe's Corner; Coral Keys; Very Early; Johnny the Liar; Polka Dots and Moonbeams.

Personnel

Dimitris Angelakis: vibraphone; George Kontrafouris: organ, Hammond B3; Kimon Karoutzos: bass, acoustic; Jason Wastor: drums.

Album information

Title: Long Way Home | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: ΠΚ music

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