Chris Stassinopoulos

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Reviews of Chris Stassinopoulos


17/11/2008 ROLAND LEICHT

by ROLAND LEICHT(Roland World's of prog-music)(GERMANY).

*Stassinopoulos, Chris & Friends - Light In The Dark

"Although Chris Stassinopoulos's name is not familiar (at least to me), he has cooperated in his long career as a musician since the late 60's with well known names. At first the greek artist Vangelis (Papathanasiou) has to be mentioned (whom everyone must know, not only as a solo artist but also from his cooperation with the singer of Yes Jon Anderson), and also non-greek artists like Francis Moze (Gong), David Cross (King Crimson), Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine), Barry Finnerty (Miles Davis) and The Wrong Object lie in the long list of famous musicians and bands. From the above it becomes clear which direction Chris Stassinopoulos's music follows. Cosmic rock and jazz fusion as a 70's style meet in the best way. His relationship with Leonardo Pavkovic (the readers of my reviews recognize his as the boss of Moonjune Records label in New York) can explain that. Someone must have the proper ear for this kind of music, because jazz fusion isn't everybody's issue. But when someone is concerned with that, he immediately realizes that Chris Stassinopoulos and his friends are real cognizants of their instruments. There is jam til the end, and especially there are some breath-taking guitar parts (unfortunately it is not clear in the booklet who the guitar player is). The rhythm section (mostly the drummer Chris Stassinopoulos, who also plays the keyboards) is also very good. Above all the 3 live tracks in the CD ('Flight Of The Condor', 'Fa Blues' und 'Cosmic 1') are breath-taking. Friends of the genre must listen to it. There are samples in his MySpace website, and www. myspace. com/chrisstassinopoulos2 is the most common."
Auch wenn Chris Stassinopoulos jetzt vom Namen her nicht wirklich bekannt ist (also zumindest mir nicht), hat er in seiner langen Musiker-Karriere seit den späten 60ern (!!) schon mit ganz großen Namen zusammengearbeitet. Zu allererst muss natürlich sein Landsmann Vangelis (Papathanassiou) (den dürfte jetzt ja wohl jeder kennen ... sowol als Solo-Künster als auch durch seine Zusammenarbeit mit Yes-Sänger Jon Anderson) genannt werden, aber auch Nicht-Griechische Künstler wie Francis Moze (Gong), David Cross (King Crimson), Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine), Barry Finnerty (Miles Davis) oder The Wrong Object stehen auf der langen Liste der bekannten Musiker und Bands. Und bei dieser Aufzählung wird auch schon klar, in welche Richtung die Musik von Chris Stassinopoulos geht. Cosmic Rock oder auch Fusion Jazz im Stile der 70er treffen das wahrscheinlich am Besten. Und seine Verbindung zu Leonardo Pavkovic (regelmäßigen Lesern meiner Reviews bekannt als Chef des New Yorker Moonjune-Labels bekannt) erklärt dann das Übrige. Nun muss man für diese Art von Musik wirklich ein passendes Ohr haben, denn Fusion Jazz ist bestimmt nicht jedermanns Sache. Aber wenn man sich darauf einlässt stellt man ziemlich schnell fest, dass Chris Stassinopoulos und seine Freunde wirklich wahre Könner ihrer Instrumente sind. Hier wird gejammt bis zum geht nicht mehr, wobei vor allem die Gitarre zum teil atemberaubende Parts spielen darf (leider geht aus dem Booklet nicht wirklich hervor, wer dieser Ausnahme-Gitarrist ist). Aber auch die Rhythmus-Truppe (und hier natürlich vor allem Schlagzeuger Chris Stassinopoulos, der auch noch die Keyboards bedient) ist nicht von schlechten Eltern. Vor allem die 3 Live-Tracks auf der CD ('Flight Of The Condor', 'Fa Blues' und 'Cosmic 1') sind fast atemberaubend. Freunde des Genres sollten unbedingt in die Scheibe reinhören. Hörproben gibt es auf seinen MySpace-Seiten, wobei vor allem www.myspace.com/chrisstassinopoulos2 gennant sein will.
by CHRIS PARKER(LONDON)-Friday, November 28, 2008

A stalwart of the Greek progressive rock scene since the late 1960s, drummer/keyboard player/composer Chris Stassinopoulos has assembled a great cast of like-minded souls, from violinist extraordinaire David Cross and fuzz bass supremo Hugh Hopper to saxophonist Alex Foster and guitarists Barry Finnerty and Joe Berger ­ not to mention his own Explorer Band spearheaded by guitarist Stelios Frederikos ­ for this extravaganza, an album he says represents ‘my live adventures in Athens with my dear friends, as a spiritual research of the human lifestyle … an exploration of this and of the parallel Universe’. The music itself is appropriately grandiloquent, an unrestrained riot of synthesised keyboard sounds, stratospheric guitar and violin solos and the odd burst of processed vocals, all driven by the thunderous, powerhouse drumming of Stassinopoulos himself. If drumming styles can be seen as occupying a spectrum with John Bonham at one end and Kenny Clarke at the other, Stassinopoulos is firmly ensconced at the former edge ­ this is full-on, no-holds-barred, go-for-broke prog rock, and none the worse for it. Play it loud for maximum effect.
"PROGRESSION"- music magazine-USA/april 2009

"Light in the Dark"
2008(CD 66:05): CHRIS STASS RECORDS 001

Greek dual drums/keys wiz and session
mainstay Chris Stassinopoulos has assembled
an all-star jam comprising a who`s who of
crack sidemen and British prog/fusion champs.
The resulting album runs the gamut of (mostly)
improvised "sturm und drung " jazz-rock blowing
one can expect from names such as Hugh Hopper,
David Cross,and quondam Miles Davis,and Jaco
Pastorius(respective) axemen Barry Finnerty and
Alex Foster.
The first five cuts are studio realizations,and
rather curious insofar that Stassinopoulos took
liberties to dub in some quiet reedy(and very
Canterbury leaning) polyphonic synth,and still
have them sound totally spontaneous.On"Ancient
Civilazation,"David Cross`s violin is crunchy enough
to pass for a guitar.The three remaining cuts are
totally live."Flight of the Condor", given the full-
band treatment (with Hopper's poorly mixed but
audible bass),is the funkiest. "Fa Blues(Space
Hymn 2)" and "Cosmic 1"are duets.The former
contains a furious Stassinopoulos drum solo. The
latter,based on a scored head riff, features some
astronishing vocal samples.---- JOHN PATRICK
REVIEW 4:(FRANCE-PARIS) by CHRISTOPHE GIGON/december 2008 http:www.progressia.net

on English:
Chris Stassinopoulos is a Greek musician, composer, keyboard player and
drummer emblematic of the prog scene of the 1970s. His new CD, Light in the
Dark has just been released and involves somes prestigious guests
including David Cross (ex-King Crimson) au violon, Hugh Hopper (bass
player with The Soft Machine), Alex Foster (ex-Jaco Pastorius) on
saxophone, Barry Finnerty (ex-Miles Davis Band) on guitare and Joe Berger
(ex-John Entwistle) also on guitar. Some great musicians. But that’s not
all as the release also comprises the talents of former members of Axis and

Our Greek Chief thus finds himsef in good company in the production which
will please aficionados of prog jazz, of the extreme variety. One thinks
more of Magma, Zao or Soft Machine than of John Surnam or Nils Petter
Molvaer ! Chris Stassinopulos is not a newcomer in hi category. Having
collaborated with some great names of the jazz and progressive scene
(Vangelis , to name the most famous ones), the
multi-instrumentist introduces us to an exacting project, halfway between
jazz and a rather specialized form of progressive jazz. This is not a disc
for melody lovers. Rather, it is an acquired taste, not always accessible
to listeners unfamiliar with the genre. One could even go as far as saying
that this album can sound unnerving at times.

This is due to the fact that the extreme complexity of the compositions,
added to the use of aggressive keyboards (akin to old, shrill and
synthetic Yamaha DX7 sounds) sometimes makes listening to Light in the
Dark difficult. Granted, the drumming is very impressive and the guitar
player’s fingers must still hurt to this day. As for the keyboard player,
he must look forward to Christmas(Noel) to swap (alast) his paleolithic Bontempi for
a new keyboard. Still, the music of our Athenian Chief is not diminished
by that and has succeeded in distancing itself from commercial standards,.
One must admit, though, that some of the stuff mya li heavy on your stomach
on the eve of the Christmas period.

*Chris Stassinopoulos Light in the Dark (2008)(Christass Records / ) Enregistré par Chris Stassinopoulos
01 – Ancient Civilization
02 – Universal Harmony
03 – Trip Through the Universal Light
04 – Greece Meets India
05 – Space Hymn
06 – Flight of the Condor
07 – Fa Blues (Space Hymn 2)
08 – Cosmic 1
*Chris Stassinopoulos, Grec de son état, est un batteur compositeur et claviériste issu de la scène musicale progressive des années soixante-dix. Son nouvel album, Light in the Dark vient de paraître et compte en son sein de prestigieux invités. Jugez plutôt : David Cross (ex-King Crimson) au violon, Hugh Hopper (bassiste de Soft Machine), Alex Foster (ex-Jaco Pastorius) au saxophone, Barry Finnerty (ex-Miles Davis Band) à la guitare et Joe Berger (ex-John Entwistle) en second guitariste. Que du beau monde, me direz-vous ! Et ce n’est pas fini ! L’auditeur averti pourra encore compter sur les présences d’anciens membres de Axis ou d’Osibisa. Notre Grec en chef se voit donc bien accompagné pour cette production ardue qui plaira aux amateurs de jazz progressif extrême. On pensera ici davantage à Magma, Zao ou Soft Machine qu’à John Surnam ou Nils Petter Molvaer ! Chris Stassinopulos n’est pas, loin s’en faut, un néophyte dans sa catégorie. Aux bénéfices des collaborations les plus diverses avec quelques grands noms de la scène jazz ou progressive (Vangelis ou pour les plus célèbres), le multi-instrumentiste nous propose son nouveau projet exigeant, aux carrefours du jazz et du rock progressif le plus pointu. Amateurs de mélodies et auditeurs imperméables aux assonances, passez votre chemin. C’est à une musique très peu accessible qui s'offre aux oreilles aguerries. Pourrait-on même aller jusqu’à prétendre que cet album peut s’avérer crispant par moments ? Assurément, car l’extrême complexité de la plupart des compositions, ajoutée à l’emploi de sons de claviers agressifs (simili vieux sons de Yamaha DX7 aigus et synthétiques) rend l’écoute de Light in the Dark parfois pénible. D'accord, le travail à la batterie est ébouriffant, le guitariste doit encore avoir les doigts dans la glace à l’heure à l'heure actuelle, le claviériste se réjouit de Noël pour (enfin) changer son Bontempi paléolithique. La musique de notre ami athénien n’est en rien édulcorée et a su s’affranchir de tout code commercial, hélas, en vigueur de nos jours. Force est d’avouer néanmoins qu’il faut avoir l’estomac sacrément bien accroché pour s’enfiler pareille galette à l’approche des fêtes de la Nativité !
Christophe Gigon

Review by Shunya Nakajima.
on English:

An album by an Greek drummer who have a long career, and have played with NOSTRADAMUS, VANGELIS, ZAO, Cyrille Verdeaux according to the booklet. The core of this album is Stassinopoulous's drumming that sometime reminds me of Bill Bruford. The formation of this album is consisted of a core band, but also adds some guests (guitar, sax, bass etc) on each tracks. Of the guests, David Cross (violin on track 1 & 6), Hugh Hopper (bass on track 6) should be most worthy of noting for our readers,but I have to point out that the guitarists (there are three of them) play very well too. Generally the album have a feel that crosses Progressive Rock and Fusion, and partly reminds me of ELP & UK in it's keyboard use. Unlike the shredding fusion that are common today, there are no trace of Heavy Metal / Shredding Guitar here, and with this this album can also to the fans of symphonic rock. Overall this is really good album.

Shunya Nakajima
november 2008
by PHONTAS TROUSSAS from greek JAZZ magazine /november 2008 http://www.jazzntzaz.gr

We appreciate what the drummer and keyboard player Chris Stasinopoulos is and what he introduces. It is free, his own, original and pure. It has the prestige of rock romanticism which is rare nowadays- here where everything is programmed ready to fall apart within formalin surroundings. As a man and as a musician he is characterized by childish (not adolescent) enthusiasm ignoring pitfalls by looking at his goal straight in the eyes. Where is who? What else than doing things by trusting your instinct. Being French raised concerning rock (and jazz) and knowing firsthand the mythology of Gong and Magma (Christian Vander is one of his most evident remarks) Stasinopoulos is the only space dactyl in Greece able to create and manage complex material through spatial and systemic approaches. The shiniest appearances in his CV are two great, somehow, works of the seventies; the third LP of the Greek Axis (Riviera, 1973) and “Forever Blowing Bubbles” of the French Clearlight (Virgin, 1975) and we shall not forget the same period his collaboration with Zao.

The above as a start… because the reason is the recent release of a CD which deepened the relationship between Chris Stasinopoulos and the global space-jazz surrounding. “Light In The Dark” is an independent production which aims to accumulate the “length of work” of the Greek drummer from the past few years. Known to the locals from the several live shows in various places, Chris Stasinopoulos through personal sacrifices has managed to build a CV that you can’t easily find in Greece. He has collaborated with Hugh Hopper, bassist player of Soft Machine, and violist player David Cross (from King Crimson) and as well as other co-workers from progression fusion circuit like saxophone player Alex Foster, guitarists Barry Finnerty and Joe Berger. With all these and his Greek fellow travelers ; keyboard player Aleko Karakada, bassist George Gavala, drummer Kosta Kramitro, ΒΙΜΠΡΑΦΩΝΙΣΤΑ VIBRAPHONIST Maria Kotsiri, and guitarist Stelio Frederiko, Stasinopoulos has a permanent presence in the Athenian music scene, keepsake from which is the present CD. Designed in a nice way (Leonardo Pavkovic from Moonjune Records has helped) the album includes eight of Chris’ compositions (with by turns participation of the forenamed). In those compositions o paixtikos tu oistros can be easily seen. = his verry hot-extatic way playing can be easily seen.All the compositions, without exception, could be characterized as fusion, and there are moments that seem way far ahead - in terms of the boundaries of the genre- and they stand out, like for example the last two tracks that Stelios Frederikos is participating ( taken from a live performance last April in the” Little Music Theatre” as well as others that may not in matters of recording thrive, (like the “flying of the condor” live at Rodeo), but have the character of a document. “Greece meets India” as a composition has an additional interest with Berger offering great solo guitar. As far as Stasinopoulos is concerned he plays as always with endless passion, and some of the times he is boisterous (his solo at “Fa Blues” for example) like a genuine descendant of the diggers of the fusion genre. What somebody overall collects from” Light In The Dark” is the sense of an honest work, product of a of a musician who fights alone, with his own powers, guided exclusively by his own personal star. And that counts.


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