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Ships and Shepherds

Artist: Alex Maguire

Date of Release: 19/05/2017

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 582

Label: SLAM

Price: £13.99

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Track Listing

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Title

Duration

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Nikolas Skordas

Alex Maguire and Nikolas Skordas Duo
Alex Maguire: piano, Nikolas Skordas: tenor and soprano saxophones, gaida (bagpipe), tarogato, flutes, bells, whistles. Special guests: Don Stavrinos: trumpet, flugelhorn & Stathis Diamantidis: double bass.

The Maguire/Skordas duo came out of a chance meeting at a gig when Alex was playing in Athens, April 2016. Later the same year Alex returned to Greece to explore possibilities of the duo; this CD, recorded live in Athens, is testament to its success.

Alex describes it: “Songs of the land and the sea, journeys from afar and journeys within are the themes of 'Ships and Shepherds', the debut recording of the Alex Maguire-Nikolas Skordas duo. From Odysseus, the archetypal "man of twists and turns", to the immovable monasteries and hermitages of Greek orthodoxy, a new voice emerges where ancient melodies and instruments join contemporary improvisatory models to forge a modern spiritual music which touches both the heart and mind.”

 

Reviews

 

22/05/2017 Ken Cheetham

Alex Maguire, piano; Nicolas Skordas, soprano sax, tenor sax, gaida, bells, penny whistles; Plus on some tracks: Don Stavrinos, trumpet, flicker; Stathis Diamantidis : double bass
Recorded live in Athens, Greece, November 2016

The music on the first of these 2 CDs is highly emotive, as is gathered from the album title. There is a romance, deeply expressed, though with sporadic steely edges. The music roils warmly. Both tracks 4 and 5 relax this, both less musically archaic and more contemporaneously abstract. The final track on CD1 reverts to its earlier character, thus setting the scene for the changes due in CD2.

Significantly, the tenor of the second CD is even more abstract, more incorporeal, the music ascending to a different plane of experimentation. Throughout CD1 there was an atmosphere of a close musical discourse between the two players and this even more remarkable in CD2. Whilst there are sometimes longer pieces of solo work, the return of the second instrument is always assured and the improvisation sweeping and confident.

Ships and Shepherds has emerged from a close liaison between musicians with a common wish to express something of the heart of ancient Greek music, but in the manner of today’s idioms and genres.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham http://www.jazzviews.net/alex-maguirenikolas-skordas-duo---ships--shepherds.html

 

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