I first traveled to Europe fifty years ago. During the four months I lived in Paris I preferred listening to British rock and American soul, tuning into pirate stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg to hear the Beatles and Rolling Stones.
I also listened to Antoine, Johnny Hallyday, Mireille Mathieu, Michel Poinareff, and Sylvie Vartan to some extent but French vocalists seemed to lack intensity and feeling.
However, passing through Italy I was glad to catch one of those French pop singers, while in Greece I strained to hear Arabic music some distance away.
Over time I tired of rock and desired something different, preferably quieter. I was drawn to Afro pop, rai, fado, and even popular Greek vocalists.
Now I look forward to exploring the choices in Athens and spend too much money buying laika CDs there.
This year I brought back a number of discs by Stelios Bikakis, Giorgos Giannias, Pantelis Pantelidis, and Paschalis Terzis. Plus a couple of surprising purchases: Takim and Zipelia Cress.
I heard a few cuts of Takim during the few minutes I spent in a store buying a CD by one of the artists already on my list. But it was long enough to realize I definitely liked what I was being exposed to.
I number of young musicians collaborated on this project and the performers are seven men who recorded after a ten year hiatus. The name sounds Turkish and the music has a distinctly eastern flavor.
I was introduced to Zipelia Cress by Vangelis, who is the composer of the music played on this CD. It’s mellow rock inspired by the familiar San Francisco sound. I returned to the store for his autograph but passed up buying a follow-up CD with a harder edge.
I didn’t find everything I looked for this time but I’ll undoubtedly return with a new list in a couple of years.
copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved