The Rough Guide to the Music of Greece

Various Artists

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

The Rough Guide to the Music of Greece Review

by Chris Nickson

This welcome addition to the Rough Guide catalog shines a light on a country whose music has largely been ignored internationally, and proves that, within the borders of Greece, the musical traditions are complex and marvelously rewarding. Thankfully it's not solely focused on modern-day artists, but frames them in the context of the past, with tracks by the legendary Kostas Nouros, "The Nightingale of Smyrna," and George Koros, the man responsible for really introducing the fiddle into Greek music (his "Ballos" is an aural treat). Inevitably, there's plenty of rembetika and laiko, those particularly indigenous Greek forms, but this stretches beyond that, to encompass the jazz-funk of Mode Pagal, whose "Pikrodafni" is rather insipid and uninspired, as well as several of the superb female Greek singers who've broken through in recent decades, like Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Glykeria, and Savina Yannatou, perhaps the most adventurous of them all. And no overview of Greek music would be complete without Mikis Theodorakis, best known for his theme to Zorba the Greek. Memorable as that was, his real writing has extended in so many directions, and "To Trizoni" offers just a small glimpse of one of his facets. With excellent liner notes and an enhanced CD that gives you all the information on Greece from The Rough Guide to World Music, it leaves you fully prepared to delve more deeply into music that deserves wider discovery.

blue highlight denotes track pick