Rembetika 3: Vassilis Tsitsanis 1936-1940

Rembetika 3: Vassilis Tsitsanis 1936-1940

by Vassilis Tsitsánis

Great Britain's JSP label is well known as a purveyor of great jazz and blues music and, more recently, bluegrass. Their multiple-disc sets are usually sold for a song (due to much more liberal copyright limitation laws in the United Kingdom, which are great if you're a consumer and really bad if you're an artist). That said, who would have thought that JSP would…  See more details below


Great Britain's JSP label is well known as a purveyor of great jazz and blues music and, more recently, bluegrass. Their multiple-disc sets are usually sold for a song (due to much more liberal copyright limitation laws in the United Kingdom, which are great if you're a consumer and really bad if you're an artist). That said, who would have thought that JSP would become the label for the history of rembetika in the Northern Hemisphere? The evidence is in the previous two multi-disc overviews of the music that the imprint issued in 2006 and earlier in 2008. This third entry in the series focuses on the most recorded musician of Greece's original underground outlaw music songwriter, and bouzouki master, Vassilis Tsitsanis, who was born in 1915 and passed away in 1984. Tsitsanis recorded from 1936 through the 1960s, taking a break during WWII, when he served in the Greek Army. This gigantic five-disc set concentrates only on the prewar years, 1936-1940. During that period, Tsitsanis recorded a whopping 101 sides! They range from his earliest, most youthful romantic ballads -- though his first hit, "Zembekiko," was a hashish ballad -- through more world-weary hard-luck, drinking, and gangster themes. Interestingly, many of his sides were credited to other artists, but as the liner notes explain (somewhat sketchily, it's true), often a side would be credited to the vocalist or a co-writer but scholars have determined authorship as belonging to Tsitsanis. Each track on these five discs is painstakingly detailed in the notes, though the biographical details are spare. The sound is more than reasonable considering the official source tapes. And the music itself? Timeless; its emotional intensity and the physicality of Tsitsanis' bouzouki playing are undiminished as well. These are powerful songs and should be heard by every rembetika fan. While it's true that Rounder Records spent two different entries on the prewar material by the artist and went deeper into details in their rather academic liner essays, the sheer weight of the music and its volume on this box tips the edge in its favor.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Jsp Records

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Disc 1

  1. S 'Ena Deke Skarosame
  2. Mandili Chrysokendimeno  -  Elvira Kakki
  3. Pikros Ine O Ponos Mou  -  Elvira Kakki
  4. Na Yiati Perno  - Sophía Karívali
  5. Yitonissa
  6. Mario Ke Manavis
  7. Gouvernanda
  8. Ola Ta'Cho Varethi  - Dhimítris Perdhikópoulos
  9. Xelogiastra  - Dhimítris Perdhikópoulos
  10. Xelogiastra  -  Stellakis & Pan. Chrysinis
  11. Ola Ta'Cho Varethi  -  Stellakis & Pan. Chrysinis
  12. Me Liker Ke Me Sampania  - Dhimítris Perdhikópoulos
  13. Me Thambonoun I Maties Sou  - Dhimítris Perdhikópoulos
  14. Yia Sena Xenychto  - Stellákis Perpiniádhis
  15. Ta Hano San Se Vlepo  - Stellákis Perpiniádhis
  16. O Tsitsanis Sto Monte Carlo  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  17. Trikalini Chakpina  - Panayiotis Chrysini
  18. Tha'Rtho Mia Glykia Vradhia  -  Ev. Payioumidzis
  19. S'Afton Ton Kosmo Dhystichis  - Panayiotis Chrysini
  20. Boemissa  -  Stellakis
  21. Otan Se Protognorisa  -  Stellakis

Disc 2

  1. I Xenitia  - Apóstolos Hadzichrístos
  2. To Trellokoritso  - Apóstolos Hadzichrístos
  3. Plakiotissa  -  Stratos
  4. Simera Xypnisa Proi  -  Ev. Payioumidzis
  5. Ti Thelis Apo Mena  -  Stellakis
  6. Politissa  - Panayiotis Chrysini
  7. I Mikri Ton Podharadhon
  8. Vasilo  - Dhimitris Perdhikopoulos
  9. Dhio Chronia S 'Agapo  - Dhimitris Perdhikopoulos
  10. O Asyrmatistis  - Dhimitris Perdhikopoulos
  11. Apo Sena Ti Zilevo  - Dhimitris Perdhikopoulos
  12. Parigoria Ta Matia Sou  -  Dhim. Roumeliotis
  13. Dhen To 'Pa To Parapono  -  Dhim. Roumeliotis
  14. Ta Veloudhenia Matia Sou  -  Stratos
  15. O Gamos Tou Tsitsani  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  16. Archondissa  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  17. Atelioto
  18. Mes' Tin Poli Skotoura Mou  -  Stratos
  19. Tha Rotiso Tin Mama Sou  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  20. Apopse Na Min Kimithis  -  Stellakis

Disc 3

  1. Bravo Sou Pos Me Dhoulevis  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  2. Sta Tavernia Tha Triyirno  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  3. Stis Salonikis Ta Stena  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  4. Tsiggana Mou Glykia  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  5. Se Perimenoune Se Zisitoune  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  6. Daizy  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  7. Se Fino Akroyiali  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  8. Na Pame Yia Ti Voula  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  9. Tin Emorfia Sou Echases  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  10. Tora Yirnas Stis Yitonies  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  11. Pane Ta Lefta Mou  -  Stellakis
  12. Dhen Se Thelo Pia  -  Stellakis
  13. Kapote Zilepsa  -  Stratos Payioumidzis
  14. Melachrini Kopela  -  Stratos Payioumidzis
  15. Mario  -  Stratos Payioumidzis
  16. Horos Politikos
  17. O Tsitsanis Sti Dzoungla  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  18. Serviko
  19. Dhodheka I Ora  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  20. Tin Kyriaki To Dhilino  - Efstratios Payioumidzis

Disc 4

  1. Kalambakiotissa  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  2. Michanika Me Berdhepses  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  3. Tatavliano
  4. O Sarkaflias  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  5. To Katsaro Sou To Mali  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  6. Matsaranga  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  7. Kamariera  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  8. I Filenadhes  - Stellios Chrysinis
  9. Agapo Mia Pandremeni  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  10. Proxenevoun Ton Stamati  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  11. Pane Ta Palia  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  12. Mazi Sou Ego Pou Ta'Blexa  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  13. Ta Soferakia  -  Stratos
  14. San Englezana Na Ferthis  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  15. Mikri Mikri S'Agapisa  - Daizy Stavropoúlou
  16. Sklyrokardhi  - Daizy Stavropoúlou
  17. To Syre Ki'Ela Archinisa  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  18. Tha Protimiso Thanato  -  Haral. Mavridhis
  19. Afou M'Aressi Na Yirno
  20. Ta Pandremenadhika  - Daizy Stavropoúlou

Disc 5

  1. Ela Mikro Na Fygoume  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  2. Larisini  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  3. Tha Vro Mia Alli Me Kardhia
  4. Haremia Me Dhiamandia  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  5. Se Zilevo Se Pono  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  6. Yi'Afta Ta Mavra Matia Sou  -  Stellakis
  7. Fina Tha Tin Pername  - Daizy Stavropoúlou
  8. Zoitsa Mou  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  9. Yia Mia Xanthoula  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  10. I Meraklidhes  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  11. Mia Nychta Sto Pasalimani  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  12. O Kosmos Ap'Ti Zilia Tou  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  13. To Adhiko O Theos Dhen Theli  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  14. Ise San Neraida  -  Haral. Mavridhis
  15. Mia Villa 'Go Tha Sou 'Chtiza  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  16. I Magissa Tis Arapias  - Efstratios Payioumidzis
  17. Fandazes San Pringipessa  - Márkos Vamvakáris
  18. Ise Aristokratissa Ke Orea  - Apóstolos Hadzichrístos
  19. Batiris  -  Ioanna Yeorgakopoulou
  20. M'Ena Pikro Anastenagmo  -  Stellakis

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Vassilis Tsitsánis   Primary Artist,Bouzouki
Rita Abadzi   Vocals
Dhimitrios Semsis   Violin
Kostas Karipis   Guitar
Daizy Stavropoúlou   Vocals
Manolis Hiotis   Bouzouki
Panayotis Toundas   Mandolin,Baglama
Apóstolos Hadzichrístos   Vocals
Sophía Karívali   Vocals
Dhimitris Demsis   Violin
Dhimitris "Bayianderas" Gongos   Bouzouki
Elvira Kakki   Vocals
Stellakis   Bouzouki
Ioanna Yeorgakopoulou   Vocals
Stellios Chrysinis   Bouzouki
Spyros Peristeris   Bouzouki,Piano
Panayiotis Chrysini   Baglama
Dhimitris Roumeliotis   Vocals
Dhimitris Perdhikopoulos   Vocals
Yeoryi Mittaki   Vocals
Efstratios Payioumidzis   Vocals

Technical Credits

Charles Howard   Producer,translation,Annotation
Dhimítris Perdhikópoulos   Composer
Stavros Kourousis   Producer
Ev. Payioumidzis   Composer

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