(446-385 BC) through Aristophanes, who refers to it as “ta fysatiria”
(blown things), but the bagpipe-like instrument unique to the Greek isles [not
to be confused with Macedonia’s gaida] has come a long way since.
Thanks to a fine instrumentalist, who despite his 62 years, looks to the
future generations, Patmos native Theologos Gryllis meets local jazzmen Yorgos
Kontrafouris, Takis Barberis and Giannis Sarikos – among others – and proves
that when there’s a will, there’s definitely a way. The tsabouna might
have a limited six-note range and restricted dynamics, but Gryllis does
wonders with these six notes, taking the traditional instrument (made of
goatskin, reeds and goat bones) to new jazz territories. Gryllis’ acrobatic
feats dress upbeat jazz standards giving these a local colour without
distorting their ‘Western’ sense of flow. “I Had Three Loves”, dedicated to
the memory of music critic Rinio Papanikola, is a fine example as is the brisk
“Satyrs” conjuring images of a rapturous Dionysaic orgy and the pop-based
“Naxos Bar”. Kudos to producer Michalis Koumbios for a wonderfully fresh idea.
A disc well worth exploring, especially by the jazz lover!