Items in Basket: 0
Tora Collective

Klampanis Petros

Tora Collective

Label: Enja

Genre: Jazz / Avant Garde


  • CD Digi / Cardboard €16.99
    In Stock

Unique instrumentation bridges Greek folkloric and modern jazz worlds, with Klampanis (bass, artistic direction), Areti Ketime (vocals), Thomas Konstantinou (oud, laouto), Giorgos Kotsinis (clarinet), Kristjan Randalu (piano), Ziv Ravitz (drums, electronics, co-production) and more.

Following up his acclaimed recent outings Rooftop Stories and Irrationalities, bassist and composer Petros Klampanis creates one of his most inventive musical settings to date with Tora Collective, his sixth album as a leader. For Klampanis, who grew up in Athens, Greece
surrounded by the confluence of Mediterranean and Balkan folk cultures, making music has always meant navigating cultural crossroads. With Tora Collective (“Tora”=“Now”) he puts traditional Greek music at the centre, even as he presents it from a bold new angle.

In addition to the two new originals “Disoriented” and “South By Southeast,” Klampanis and his compact hybrid jazz/Greek folk ensemble interpret popular Greek songs such as “Xehorismata,” “Sybethera,” “Hariklaki” and “Menexedes ke Zoumboulia.” These songs, Klampanis asserts, are “not just part of Greek cultural heritage or a fragment of the past, but also as part of the future: they live into the present, breathe into the ‘here and now,’ while constantly evolving in a dynamic state and in dialogue with contemporary music.”

“For me it’s a personal thing,” he says. “I want to reflect on what Greek music and culture offer the world. How can music from the Aegean to Epirus and from the Ionian Islands to Crete, meet and speak to the hearts and minds of musicians and audiences from different parts of the world, different traditions and backgrounds?”

To that end, Tora Collective draws on regional characteristics, as Klampanis explains: “Every region has a strong identity. In Epirus the clarinet is more prominent and the music has this slow, groovy, meditative vibe. The islands are lighter sounding, Macedonia is groovier, faster tempos and energetic dances. Music from Asia Minor or Istanbul is more sophisticated. Greeks often refer to Istanbul as ‘Poli,’ from Constantinopoli, so the songs from there are called ‘Politika.’”

There is magic in the clear and consistent voice of Areti Ketime throughout Tora Collective, as can also be said for the supremely voice-like articulation of Giorgos Kotsinis on clarinet. Ziv Ravitz, on drums and electronics, also plays a pivotal role as coproducer: “He added so much in the orchestration,” says Klampanis. “His knowledge of electronics, all these non-acoustic sounds and keyboards, treatments of the acoustic instruments, it’s all because of Ziv. He brought a new perspective on the whole thing.”

The string element in Tora Collective is also strong: in addition to Klampanis’ bass there is Thomas Konstantinou on oud and the traditional Greek laouto, as well as Kristjan Randalu (the pianist in Klampanis’ Irrationalities trio) providing an anchor and bringing Klampanis’ inventive arrangements into harmonic focus. Additional guests appear: Alexandros Arkadopoulos on clarinet for “Disoriented,” Laura Robles on percussion for “South by Southeast” and trumpeters Sebastian Studnitzky and Andreas Polyzogopoulos on “Milo Mou ke Mandarini” and “Hariklaki,” respectively. (“Milo Mou” is slated as a post-release bonus track.)

Using traditional Greek music to discover a common new voice, the project aims to build dialogue, spark creativity, cultivate respect for the past, pave a path forward, discover a new musical storytelling powerful enough to reach and touch audiences in many countries. This is an experiment that bridges worlds: the east and the west, the traditional and the modern, the nostalgic and the forward-looking, using the power of music and improvisation.