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April 28 , 2005

Savina’s “Sumiglia”

Greek singer Savina Yannatou has been picking up superlative press for “Sumiglia”, her first ECM studio album, and for the concerts around the world to promote it. In the Los Angeles Times, Don Heckman reviewed her concert with Primavera en Salonico at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall: “Her initial emphasis on cool-toned interpretations, enhanced by a sumptuous sound and a subtle vibrato, gradually transformed into a startlingly diverse repertoire of vocal techniques. In some numbers she employed throat singing, for others, she flexed her sound to the point where she could produce a melodic line in octaves. In the concert’s last pieces, she produced bird calls, yelps, squeals and growls with an intensity reminiscent of the late avant-garde singer Cathy Berberian, as she led her ensemble through electrifyingly contemporary sounding segments.”

In Jazz Views, John Kelman wrote: “Sumiglia differs from Terra Nostra in that, while the first release was a live recording licensed by ECM, the new record is a studio recording, and Yannatou’s first working encounter with label owner/producer Manfred Eicher. While Yannatou’s somewhat mercurial nature is still in evidence, Eicher’s production strength is in making her occasional unpredictability fit more smoothly within the broader concept of the album’s tale. Yannatou and Primavera en Salonico assert that all music is world music, and with Sumiglia continue on a journey to explore the common language that is inherent in all music – lines are blurred and borders dissolved as Yannatou and the ensemble draw connections between less-than-obviously linked cultures.”

On April 28th, Yannatou was the subject of a broadcast on America’s National Public Radio. In the programme “All Things Considered”, Robert Siegel interviewed Savina and played material from “Sumiglia”. In summer, Savina and group tour Europe, with concerts in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Holland and Turkey.