b. Greece. A highly original pianist, since his early dawning in the Boston, Massachusetts, USA, area Karayorgis has attained a considerable international reputation owing to appearances at festivals and tours of clubs in Europe and America. At venues such as these, and on numerous recording dates, he has appeared with artists such as Mat Maneri, Joe Maneri, Ken Vandermark, Tony Malaby, Michael Formanek, John Lockwood and saxophonist Guillermo Gregorio, playing on the latter's Red Cube(d) in a trio which also included Mat Maneri. Karayorgis has also led or co-led his own groups, their albums attracting very favourable critical attention. Critics have drawn attention to the ability of Karayorgis and his musical companions to skate perilously close to the edges of musical catastrophe, the resulting successes being testimony to their flair, skill and technical prowess. As Alex Henderson commented in Jazziz magazine, " . . . Karayorgis is a brave soul who has . . . fashioned a radical sound of his own . . . definitely original . . . undoubtedly worth the ride." References to Thelonious Monk and Lennie Tristano, Cecil Taylor and Andrew Hill sometimes appear in accounts of his playing but these are valid more as reference points than as true stylistic touchstones.
It might be more accurate to suggest that Karayorgis brought to turn-of-the-century jazz piano hints of how those earlier innovators might have played had they been up-and-coming now rather than then. To quote Billy Taylor, in a blindfold test carried out by Bill Milkowski in JazzTimes, "I have no idea who this is but it is really very clever, very refreshing." Clearly, Karayorgis is intent on pushing the envelope of improvised music, and is very capable of achieving his aims.
DISCOGRAPHY: Hand Made (Lyra 1989)***, The Other Name: Solo Piano & Duets (Motive 1992)***, with Mat Maneri In Time (Leo Lab 1994)***, with Eric Pakula, Eric Rosenthal Between Speech & Song (Cadence 1994)***, with Pakula Lines (Accurate 1995)***, with Maneri Lift & Poise (Leo Lab 1998)***, Heart And Sack (Leo 1998)****, with Nate McBride Let It (Cadence 2001)****, with McBride, Ken Vandermark No Such Thing (Boxholder 2001)***, Blood Ballad (Leo 2001)***, with Maneri Disambiguation (Leo 2002)***.
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