Strat Andriotis — Night Manager
(Dekatria Records 003, 2018, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-05-04
Actively recording since the mid-90s with five releases to his credit, Greek born composer and guitarist extraordinaire Strat Andriotis migrated with his family to Canada when he was a teenager, around 1967, a time when music was going through trmendous waves of change; he was influenced by Miles Davis, John Mclaughlin, Jimi Hendrix, and other psychedelic rock of the period. With his 2018 album Night Manager, he explores a purely instrumental gypsy jazz repertoire along with none other than the esteemed violin master Jerry Goodman (The Flock, Mahavishnu Orchestra and numerous outstanding solo releases), as well as Cuban born Grammy winning pianist (now resident in Florida) Gonzalo Rubalcaba (on the opener “Song 21”) and Canadian pianist Adrean Farrugia (on second and third tracks “Secrets” and “Chili’s Blues”). There are no drums here, or bass, or any instruments besides acoustic guitar (okay, he does play electric occasionally), violin and piano, which turns out to be a refreshing break from the typically electrified and amplified sounds we review in these pages. How does one describe these intriguing, beautiful and melodically colorful compositions? One just has to immerse themselves in it and enjoy the experience. With the exception of multi-tracked guitar closer “I Hear a Rhapsody” (a cover tune from the 40s), and “The Arrival” co-written with Goodman, all the compositions are credited solely to Andriotis. While I listen to this I am often reminded of an old LP that I had decades ago by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grapelli and the gentle jazzy moods they explored so seamlessly together. If you know that magic, it’s here on Night Manager.
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