Apostolis Anthimos — Back to the North
(Metal Mind MMP CD 0396, 2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01The longtime guitarist of SBB hasn’t released a lot of solo material, unlike bandmate Jozef Skrzek. In fact, apart from a couple discs in the 90s, this one is only the third. Here he takes a fun and festive romp through the jazz-rock idiom, joined by current SBB drummer Paul Wertico and bassist/keyboardist Marcin Pospieszalski. This is instrumental guitar fusion of the highest order, played with finesse and precision. Apostolis’ guitar work is signature, but not an instantly recognizable entity like Metheny or Scofield for example. He tends to work with a bit more distortion, yet not so much to obstruct the power behind his jazz chording, pyrotechnic delivery, and lightning-speed solos. All the material here is original, although one piece, “Pinnochio’s Dreams,” is a re-working of a tune from his earlier album Days We Can’t Forget. Opener “Bar Wah Wah” seems to have a bit of a Steve Morse country vibe juxtaposed with fiery rock passages and a celebratory jazz feel, and in one track presents a condensed cross-section of what this guitarist is all about. “New Century” is about the closest he gets to an all-out rock onslaught, with some bluesy slide work and eloquent lead phrasing with varying degrees of distortion and wah. The centerpiece is the fifteen minute multi-part opus “Colours Impressions,” which steps through a number of doors, alternating between jazz-rock and a more pure jazz feel, plus solos from Wertico and Pospieszalski. Overall, this is one definitely worthy of attention.
Related artist(s): Apostolis Anthimos
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more