325

Dimitri Vassilakis: Parallel Lines

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Dimitri Vassilakis: Parallel Lines Parallel Lines—an album that's filled with exquisite musicianship, fire, and hard-swinging grooves—could justifiably put Greek saxophonist Dimitrios Vassilakis on the who's who list of world-class reed players. Born in Athens, Greece and living in London, he is also an educator pursing a PhD while teaching and lecturing in the Music Department at Makedonia University in Thessalonica.

Vassilakis' music theory and concepts are vitalized when he is joined by drummer Jeff "Tain Watts and bassist Essiet Okon Essiet. He brings a Coltrane-like modernism to his sax playing, which is marked by consummate training and imbued with a spirit of freedom and invention. The ten original selections on the recording consist of six trio compositions, three "groove" reworks, and a duet where Vassilakis plays both sax and drums. Each one showcases the musicians' abilities.

Essiet and "Tain" obliterate the jungle/drum 'n' bass motif on "Parallel Lines," mixing a funky bass, polyrhythms, and hard bop changes as Vassilakis provides dueling sax solos. The corresponding "Parallel Lines Groove" contains a loop of the original bass pattern, now enhanced by Vassilakis playing the drum section and adding spoken word with a hip-hop flavor. Both approaches have satisfying results.

But the music also moves along the lines of strong jazz improvisation and a deep knowledge of history, paying homage to Sonny Rollins' classic Freedom Suite; the trio plays with intensity and joy on the street party-like "Ocean and the heartfelt ballad "Soul Eyes.

The "groove pieces, recorded a year after the originals, serve as a synopsis of the album. They are not just variations—they also show another dimension of Vassilakis' musicality. Witness, for example, his formidable drum work and creativity on the impressive drum/sax improvisation "The Drum Think. From beginning to end, each composition fits into an outstanding set which could also be dubbed the Dimitrios Vassilakis "Groove Suite.


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 The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Out & About" CD/LP/Track Review Out & About
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Chronosome" CD/LP/Track Review Chronosome
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 24, 2016

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!