Album Title: Melos
Performers: Vassilis Tsabropoulos, Anja Lechner, U.T. Gandhi
Label & #: ECM 2048
Play Time:
Recorded: 2008

ECM. That's superior recordings off the beaten mainstream path. Melos, with pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos and cellist Anja Lechner, was my favorite disc-overy of 2008. Sporting the pianist's original compositions plus three by Armenian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff, we're in a zone contemporary with the Tord Gustavsen Trio -- i.e. similarly gorgeous melodic work -- but with the blue-note Jazz tinges and syncopated time keeping of the Norsemen left behind.

Noteworthy for audiophiles is the headline action of our two most difficult-to-reproduce instruments. Manfred Eichner's recording team captured them
in intensely rich harmonic splendor which, particularly for the upper piano reaches and triangle, will require first-rate tweeters without phase shift. Anja's cello will make similar demands on the midrange. In short, this is superb demo material. But unlike pomp 'n' circus bombast of Telarc caliber, Melos is elegiac, bel canto, cantabile and lyrical to the extreme. Inherently minimalist, the magic resides in the flow and sophistication of the compositions, echoes of Øystein Sevåg, George Winston and Eric Satie all rolled into one. Less becomes more, making for many happy returns which don't wear out their welcome.