Review of “In Memoriam” by Thomas Athanaselos, self-made, 2017
Have we got a new talent? The young Greek guitarist Thomas Athanaselos presents his first recording debut with a work based on the music of Astor Piazzolla, some jazz standards arranged by R. Dyens and two of his personal compositions. This his “In Memoriam”, dedicated to his late friend Thodoris Charos is an excellent record, a nice visiting card for a soloist who wants to present his qualities demonstrating an already interesting musical maturity for a young artist Personally I appreciated his excellent performances of the classics “Estaciones Portenas” and “Milonga del Angel” by Piazzolla, really well done and with a spectacular, warm and intense sound. I do not say anything about the standards arranged by Dyens: I don’t particularly love them, I have always found these arrangements definitely not necessary and far away, too far away from the ethics and aesthetics of jazz that I admire and that I am used to evaluating. The standards .. reduced to normal scores… I find them not very interesting and courageous, but it’s just my opinion and has nothing to do with the beautiful sound of the guitar of Athanaselos, sound that is expressed too in his two compositions that conclude the CD. Athanaselos, however, shows an undeniable mastery of his instrument, a wonderful sound and an excellent knowledge of the repertoire, but I would be curious to listen to him playing a more classical repertoire or more extreme and atonal music. Anyway, a good record. One more star for his beautiful version of “Felicitade” by the great Antonio Carlos Jobim. Bravo!