A sparkling melange of Greek, Arabic, Mediterranean and Latin Jazz sounds from talented Athenian musician Alekos Vretos and his combo. Placing the traditional Middle Eastern oud lute at the centre of a jazz line up, Berklee-College-of-Music-trained Vretos explores new territories and possibilities of this deeply resonant instrument, blending the exotica of sumptuous oriental melodies with the groove of a jazz rhythm section. With crack Latin jazz maestro John Crawford on piano, the masterful Teymour Housego on Indian flutes (bansuri) Simon Pearson (The Wedding Present) on drums, and Andrea di Biase on bass, improvisational sparks will fly as the band set off on their musical travels.
Vretos has collaborated with the likes of Greek legend Mikis Theodorakis, the world's leading oud player Simon Shaheen as well as saxophonist Gilad Atzmon. His compositional approach draws inspiration from the strong melodies of celebrated musicians, such as US Armenian oudist Ara Dinkjian and Tunisian master oudist Anouar Brahem.
Support comes from Valkania, a four-piece London-based band who celebrate the Balkans' infectious, uneven rhythms then mix it up with jazz and blues – including 'balkanized' cover versions from the Rolling Stones to Roxy Music. DJ Sebze rounds things off with a set of rare groove from the borderlines of jazz and world music.
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