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Tsabropoulos/Anderson/Marshall: Achirana

Greek pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos is the main attraction on Achirana-not in any way to slight the contributions of bassist Arild Andersen or drummer John Marshall. Tsabropoulos’ wonderful sense of phrasing borrows from the classical tradition and from improvising forebears Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett. A 35-year-old Athenian, Tsabropoulos was a prodigy in the classical realm, and has studied with the likes of Peter Serkin; he favors the kind of austere, dramatically contoured soundscapes that have played so well for ECM over the years. Let’s give credit where it is due: Manfred Eicher, shepherd to the ECM flock, certainly knows what he likes, and knows how to get that sound down. Achirana is all about the interplay between piano and bass within the relatively free space of a gently swung three-against-four meter. Though they do not shock, the great sound of Andersen’s bass, the unerring intonation of his lines and the flow of Tsabropoulos’ inventions combine in delightful ways.

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