Savina Yannatou’s fourth ECM album is a dazzling evocation of her band’s hometown, plunging deep into its rich and complex history.
Once known colloquially as the Jerusalem of the Balkans, Thessaloniki has been home to a host of cultures, religions and ethnic communities. Greeks, Jews, Turks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Armenians, Slav-Macedonians and Pontiac Greeks have shared the city’s diverse life. Yannatou gives all of them a voice, even casting an Irish song about Salonika into this multi-lingual programme, in which she shines as a unique interpreter and spokeswoman for the city’s ghosts.
As ever, Primavera en Salonico are a delight, one of the most resourceful bands of any idiom, as they negotiate the inspired – and very varied – arrangements of Kostas Vomvolos.
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