Martha Mavroidi is not from the North of Greece, where some of the most poignant songs in this set originated. She is pure conservatoire material, having studied in the first dedicated "musical high schools " in the country. She is very young. She has not spent a lifetime singing these songs on her way to the fields, carrying kids or logs or water in her back. But, Martha Mavroidi is an outstanding singer, with a voice originating in choirs of angels, a cross between Savinna Yannatou and Athena Andreadis.
She has put together a team that supports her (including Savinna Yannatou and The Eva Quartet) and lets her soar up to hosanna in the highest, with a production that lets each turn of her voice shine. And she loves the songs she has chosen.
She loves "Little Sea," the opening song (and the easter egg 15th track), a traditional song from the Aegean island of Skyros.
She loves "Alexandris," a song of love from Thrace which she elevates through singing and arrangement into an aria of lust and determination.
She loves "Jasmin" a self-penned blissful song of distant love that holds its ground against the traditional songs, blending in with a characteristic ease.
She loves "Romanian Melody" a cover of the song "Geamparale de la Fetesti" by Vasile Pandelescu. Pom! Pom!
She loves "Yerevan," another original which sounds centuries old.
She loves "Haiku," a cutting edge avant-garde minimalist tour-de-force.
She loves the deeply personal "Crazy Rabbit," full of sweetness which Manos Hadjidakis could have penned in one of his most inspired moments.
She loves "Garip," she wrote it after all. All masculine, edgy and Balkan, like a Balkan Haka. All Oriental like a muezzin call or a Greek Orthodox service.
She loves "Moon," set with words by Nikos Gavriil Pentzikis, one of the most mystical of the Greek writers, about a very mental approach to bliss.
She loves each little thing on this record and she makes it clear.
Martha Mavroidi, thank you for inviting us into your house to play music for us. You give us a must-hear record, a true find, a wonderful accomplishment. - Nondas Kitsos
Photo by Spirios Balios