Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ensemble Elektra, The Book of Time

I've covered violinist-composer-bandleader Elektra Kurtis in the blogs before. Today another from a little while back, Ensemble Elektra and The Book of Time (Milo 104).

The ensemble has a fusioned approach to world music. Elektra's compositions give them a springboard which incorporates traditional Greek, Eastern European and Mideastern elements into a jazz-rock kind of gumbo. Elektra is on violin and is one of the more distinctively expressive exponents out there on the instrument, schooled, yes, but filled with folk life and jazz derived articulation. The ensemble at the time of this recording (1999) included Milo Kurtis on percussion, Tasos Stylianou and sometimes also Kelvyn Bell on electric guitars, Bradley Jones on electric bass (who gives us an out-front well-conceived bass presence throughout), Rufus Cappadocia on cello, Lefteris Bournias on a very distinctive eastern sounding clarinet, Abe Fogle on drums, and India Czajkowska on vocals.

The band gets a blend and drive that put them in their own zone. Elektra's violin playing is a pivotal point and she plays wonderfully.

This is music to live with and get much out of if you give it a chance. If you respond to the tonality and feel of Greek music and beyond and want some jazz-fusion that reflects that, this will give you a real lift. If you don't know what I mean then just listen!!

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