The discography of Kyriakos Sfetsas is a labyrinth. Chamber music, solo piano, electronic music, ballet works, theatrical pieces, film soundtracks, jazz records and folk songs: the Greek composer has not ceased to blur the lines since he started out in the mid-1960s. After accompanying Callas for his last concert in their homeland, he fled the colonels’ dictatorship and took refuge in Paris.
It was in la Ville Lumière (Paris), where he followed the avant-garde teachings of Max Deutsch, that he had the idea of combining Greek musical traditions, jazz, and classical music. The vision was realized after his return to Greece, when he founded the well-named Greek Fusion Orchestra in 1976.
Bringing together Sfetsas’s various sides, this first wave of recordings unearthed by the Teranga Beat label sees him develop a typically Mediterranean progressive jazz that celebrates the dialogue between “high” and popular arts. It’s a striking definition of what we still call fusion.
Kyriakos Sfetsas, Greek Fusion Orchestra Vol. 1 (Teranga Beat)