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Petros Klampanis: Contextual

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A formidable player and composer, bassist Petros Klampanis garnered acclaim in his native Greece and throughout Europe before moving to New York in 2008. Now a member of Greg Osby’s stable at Inner Circle, he makes his auspicious Stateside debut with Contextual. Opening with “Thalassaki,” a traditional Greek melody performed by string quartet and bass, Klampanis smacks the wood of his deep-toned upright for percussive effect while the strings play a moody Balkan refrain. He demonstrates chordal mastery on a stirring solo bass interpretation of Hoagy Carmichael’s melancholy “Skylark,” and strikes an intimate accord with vocalist Gretchen Parlato on a duet of Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird.” His “Basscape” is an adventurous bit of looped self-accompaniment, while “Basscope” is an exercise in layered ambient sound recalling Robert Fripp’s late-’70s experiments with Frippertronics. A couple more exemplary duets round out the program: Klampanis and guitarist Paul Bollenback blisteringly navigate the changes of John Coltrane’s “Countdown,” while “Mingum,” inspired by bassist-composer Charles Mingus, is an affecting conversation with pianist David Berkman.

Originally Published