From one of the more contemporary masters of the bouzouki comes this collection of works. Vassilis Tsitsanis was really the primary transitionary figure in the history of the bouzouki, moving from the rural forms to the more urban, and incorporating aspects from the Ottomans and from the Viennese forms in vogue under the Nazi occupation. Here, he plunges through work after work created during his many years playing at the various clubs and bars that were his unofficial homes. The songs deal with the suffering of the common people, their hopes and dreams, and their nobility of character, as well as the more traditional love songs and songs of daily life. The real treats for the listener however are the taqsims, borrowed from the Ottoman repertoire of ideas. Here, he can stretch out instrumentally, accompanied only minimally by guitar and baglama (making a bit of counterpoint between modal ideas on harmony and tonal ideas in the lead bouzouki). Extended runs show off careful patterns played out on the fly, exploring the mode in question to the fullest extent. Give it a listen as the prime exponent of the modernization of bouzouki music, here performed to its finest.
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AllMusic Review by Adam Greenberg