309

Dimitri Vassilakis: Parallel Lines

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Dimitri Vassilakis: Parallel Lines Greek saxophonist Dimitri Vassilakis' third album for Candid is a one-course, big plate feast of rugged, gruff-toned tenor saxophone and high-torque bass and drums. It swings hard from start to finish, with only the halfway point "Soul Eyes" providing a pause, and does both Vassilakis and his primary influence, Sonny Rollins, proud. It was released in Europe this past fall and will be out in the US shortly.

In his liner notes, Vassilakis cites Rollins' Freedom Suite with Oscar Pettiford and Max Roach as the chief inspiration for Parallel Lines. The new album is built around a 25-minute suite of three original compositions—"Parallel Lines," "Little One," and "Ocean," recorded in July '03—to which Vassilakis returned in the studio a year later, taking bass loops from the originals and overdubbing new saxophone and drum parts, creating shorter versions which he has retitled with the suffix "Groove." The closing track, "The Drum Think," recorded in early '05, is a saxophone/drums duet which revisits both the original and the "Groove" trilogies. Each track at some point refers back to the same four-note chord in the key of C.

If all this sounds a little drawn out, contrived, and monotonous, it is none of those things: the music is fresh, organic, and energised. Ideas tumble out of Vassilakis' tenor (he plays soprano only occasionally)—and there's a depth to his tone which reminds you, happily, of Rollins and, while Vassilakis rarely uses split notes or harmonics, another notable Rollins descendant, David S. Ware. Essiet Okon Essiet and Jeff Tain Watts both contribute passionate solos (on "Ocean" and "Little One" respectively), but most of the album is Vassilakis', and he strides out with vigour and sustained invention.

A very fine album from a player who is only now approaching first maturity.


Track Listing: Parallel Lines; Little One; Ocean; Swinging Second; Soul Eyes; James; Ocean Groove; Little One Groove; Parallel Lines Groove; The Drum Think.

Personnel: Dimitri Vassilakis: tenor and soprano saxophones, drums (7-10), vocals (9); Essiet Okon Essiet: bass (1-9); Jeff Tain Watts: drums (1-7).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Candid Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Guitarist, Alone" CD/LP/Track Review Guitarist, Alone
by John Eyles
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "HUJE 2015" CD/LP/Track Review HUJE 2015
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Ida Lupino" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Lupino
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Recondita Armonia" CD/LP/Track Review Recondita Armonia
by Phillip Woolever
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "Roots Of Unity" CD/LP/Track Review Roots Of Unity
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 25, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!