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>Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet
>System Of 5



"It's easily one of the best jazz records I've heard this year."
Chicago Reader

"Splendid recording."
Signal To Noise

"An album that absolutely pulsates with extraordinary brilliance from end to end."
All About Jazz

"Boston is blessed to be home base for one of the most fiery, uncompromising, and adventurous jazz bands on the planet, led by pianist/composer Karayorgis, with tenor saxophonist Matt Langley, trombonist Jeff Galindo, bassist Jef Charland, and drummer Luther Gray, masterful improvisers all."
Boston Glob

System Of 5
Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet
hatOLOGY 682, 2011

Matt Langley, tenor sax
Jeff Galindo, trombone
Pandelis Karayorgis, piano
Jef Charland, bass
Luther Gray, drums

available on Bandcamp

System Of 5 page


1. Transit 7:56
2. Two-ophony 7:45
3. Elastic 9:33
4. Seventh Wonder 6:31
5. Curt's Escape 4:12
6. Stray Line 3:36
7. Due East 7:31

8. Tones Not Notes 5:56

total (52:53)

All compositions and arrangements by Pandelis Karayorgis, Stray Line Publishing, ASCAP.

Liner Notes
In his famous essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” T.S. Eliot makes the case for tradition (in his argument, that of poetry) as, simultaneously, historical and timeless; it is not, to his mind, a collection of currently outdated or outmoded attitudes that produce now unfashionable or irrelevant works of art, but a conscious, sustained system of creativity that has a direct affect on the new, and is in turn affected and changed by the new. It is definitely not a style to be imitated, but a process of inclusion and development, expansion and invention. For Eliot, in order to discover and assert one’s own individuality, an artist must initiate a relationship with the “consciousness of the past,” through a familiarity with the continuum of historical artistic experience. “The poet’s mind is in fact a receptacle for seizing and storing up numberless feelings, phrases, images, which remain there until all the particles which can unite to form a new compound are present together.”

If we switch the art from poetry to jazz, Eliot could have used Pandelis Karayorgis as a model for his thesis. Throughout his career, the Greek-born, Boston-based pianist has studied, absorbed, and personalized the musical information of several traditions – from Bach to Schönberg, Ellington to Sun Ra, and beyond – but combined and transformed it in ways that reveal more about him than his resources. There have been times when he has worked directly with specific historic source material – Lennie Tristano’s labyrinthine themes in his formative days, certainly, but also repertoire devised by maverick pianists including Sun Ra, Hassan Ibn Ali, Misha Mengelberg, and of course, inevitably, Monk – precisely because of the challenge it poses, requiring an original response to a set of idiosyncratic conditions, to maintain one’s own identity while reorganizing and expanding upon the art of another. Few pianists of his generation have such a broad grasp of the modern jazz tradition, without in turn being stylistically handcuffed by it.

More often than not, over the course of a significant recording career, he has plotted his own compositional strategies, often with improvisational detours designed to motivate his collaborators – especially, in groups other than the conventional piano trio, the edgy, elusively microtonal violinist Mat Maneri and/or reedmen as diverse as Tony Malaby, Ken Vandermark, Eric Pakula, or Guillermo Gregorio. But for this occasion Karayorgis fronts a new band and so, drawing upon both his own and a few adapted tactics, System of 5 is a bit different – an inspired example of an individual talent confronting tradition, altering appropriate concepts, and constructing a format flexible enough to reflect his personal melodic and harmonic context while allowing each of the participants to affect the music’s form as well as its dramatic expression.

This being a “system” of, and not for, all five explains the process – where the formative mode is contrast, and the music reveals its various facets like the multiple perspectives of a Cubist portrait. As echoes from the tradition are recontextualized by the newly minted form, Karayorgis initiates several layers of spontaneous interaction – between the musicians themselves, between the musicians and the sectional nature of the material, and between the music and the listener. The band bears the burden of cultivating the system, and the music blossoms with their contributions. Bassist Jef Charland and drummer Luther Gray provide a supple foundation, in tandem and as they separate and align themselves with others in duo episodes. Saxophonist Matt Langley forged his alternately lyrical and aggressive style in ensembles led by the underrated Charlie Kohlhase. And trombonist Jeff Galindo – who brings to the program, among his broad experiences, a striking encounter with the music of Monk, in particular, from a partnership with pianist Jacques Chanier – galvanizes the proceedings.

If the idea of experiencing material from multiple perspectives recalls the Cubist painters, the spontaneity of choice and the separate points of origin suggest an even newer, intensified, kinetic sense of continuity. “Elastic,” as noted by its title, displays many of these characteristics. The condensed, drifting harmonies, typical of Karayorgis’ tonally ambiguous treatment of Monkish voicings, shadow the piano line as it emerges from the opening theme and thickens and thins out along its twisting path. The quick cut to a boisterous trombone solo establishes a new tempo, phrasing, and rhythmic impetus, as does, once again, the entry of the restrained tenor sax and bass. The return of the piano, paired with drums, addresses the line in chunks and slivers, until the horns repeat the opening melody, this time divided into steady (horns) and double time (rhythm section). Over the course of the performance, each of the sudden shifts of tempo, instrumental texture, dynamics, and mood reshapes the form without breaking its linear intent. The continuity remains intact, even as we experience its offset design.

A similar quality energizes “Due East” with the horn roles reversed; this time the tenor saxophone sprints out of the moderately phrased theme as if attempting to break free from the form, but pulls back just in time to resolve the tempo for the trombone’s bluesy stroll, concluding with sparse abstraction from the piano. The contrasting sections blend into juxtaposed moods that define the compositional contour. This counterpoint of tradition and invention is perhaps easiest to recognize in the Dolphyesque bass line (approximated from his “Hat and Beard”) that sustains “Seventh Wonder,” which may or may not be a triple pun on Dolphy, Dolphy’s take on Monk, and Karayorgis’ debt to Dolphy and Monk. Is Monk the “seventh wonder” of our modern world? Even if not intended as such, allusions like this occur as variations on the tradition as we experience it. If I discover a connection to Herbie Nichols in the oblique harmonies of “Transit” or a mood that reminds me of something Mal Waldron might have composed in “Curt’s Escape,” perhaps a transparent trace of Horace Silver in the piano’s quieter moments of “Elastic” or fluid transformations of theme and character reminiscent of aspects of Tony Williams’ great, neglected Blue Note albums Spring and Lifetime, am I reading too much into the music?

I can’t speak for the musicians, but from Eliot’s position – or that of art critic John Berger, who reminds us (in the essay “The Moment of Cubism”) that “Art is concerned with memory” as it affects and is in turn affected by the audience’s previous experiences – probably not. Refocusing our view of tradition from several distinctive contemporary perspectives, the music of System Of 5 seems somehow familiar and surprising at the same time. It’s difficult, but it’s what art is meant to do, and these musicians do it well.

Art Lange, Chicago, January 2010

Pianist Karayorgis has shown an ability to wear a great many hats, from the arch chamber improv of his early dates to the gritty monastic funk of mi3. With this splendid recording, he explores the legacy of Nichols and Clark beloved by pianists (most notably Mengelberg of course) in his own fashion, abetted by a terrific group of players: saxophonist Matt Langley, trombonist Jeff Galindo, bassist Jef Charland, and drummer Luther Gray. Many of the pieces here pursue little mangled bop lines, quirky and catchy, squeezing them into tighter formulations until the band seems suddenly to find themselves lost in little spacious corners or free falls. As fun as the themes are–some of them, including "Seventh Wonder" and "Transit," have a heavy Tristano feel to them–it's in the breakdowns and openings that most of the improvisational intensity comes through. Galindo and Charland have several fine features, and the trombonist is in terrific form with Gray on "Two-ophony" (where Gray solos memorably as well). Langley is aces on the sprinting "Elastic," and the horns combine throughout to create very full voicings (kudos to the leader on his arranging smarts). And of course, Karayorgis sounds just dizzyingly good all over the place, taking off into graceful flights of technique (recalling Nabatov) or mashing down with brittle intensity or simply riding the funky tempo changes of a tune like "Due East." All in all, this is a vibrant small group session that embodies virtues rom multiple periods and styles.
Jason Bivins, Signal To Noise #62, Summer 2011

One of the most enduring qualities possessed by pianist Pandelis Karayorgis is his startling intellect, as well as the grace with which he announces his arrival. A truly gifted musician with a penchant for angularity, his playing is, nevertheless, beautifully logical, even when he is playing those darting arpeggios that a linear melody demands. However, every once in awhile, he abandons all logical lines to the melody of his complex work, and jumps in seemingly with a myriad of hands, playing slashing chords, fisting the keyboard in the manner in which Don Pullen might have done. At times like these, Karayorgis appears to relish the fact that his spontaneity not only takes over, crushing anticipated harmonic progression, but he also seems to relish the fact that he has achieved this with no safety net. There is also the sense that the pianist often crosses an imaginary Rubicon and, having found himself in uncharted territory, he lets his swinging sense of dissonant lyricism take over.

This kind of playing is prevalent throughout System of 5, an album that absolutely pulsates with extraordinary brilliance from end to end. The music here is created with sublime ingenuity and what is more, it is celebrated by every one of the 5 associated with Karayorgis' so-called system. And what might this seemingly simplistic system be? Far from rudimentary, it is an agglomeration of the individual genius of five musicians of considerable skill who desist from infusing the music with individualistic personality, preferring, instead, to treat each startling chart with equally startling interlocking of the sum of all the skills in the ensemble. This does not mean no soloing, but it is is not done in the conventional sense. For instance, when trombonist Jeff Galindo waxes eloquent with his growling and stuttering smears and human speech-like solo on “Seventh Wonder,” the ensemble chugs alongside, seeming to egg him on, as if in conversation about his wild narrative. Similarly, bassist Jef Charland challenges Karayorgis elsewhere on the album, when he takes flight on a rhythmically propelled harmonic excursion.

The best example of this is on “Elastic,” after the ensemble has run the ductile piece down in a couple of bars, releasing Karayorgis to take flight. There is also here a magnificent entwining of Karayorgis and Charland. So tight is this section of the chart, with the laconic jumping and walking of Charland, that it appears he is the glue that joins one musician to the next. And when the song leaps into overdrive at a doubled pace, it is the bassist who drives the trombone and the superb rhythms of drummer Luther Gray. Here is System of 5 at its finest. And just when it appears that “Elastic” has run its course and has nowhere else to go, the song dissolves into a swirl of brushed skins, maddening rolls of the piano and wild bleating of the saxophonist Matt Langley, before Karayorgis and Gray bring it all together until its memorable end.
Raul d'Gama Rose, All About Jazz, June 2011

The Boston-based pianist will contribute compositions to the Karayorgis / Dijkstra Quintet, which is excellent news judging by the quality of his writing on the new System of 5 (Hatology). He has a profound grasp of the complexities of post-Monk piano—jagged rhythmic patterns, tart harmonies, steeplechase melodic figures—and his restrained solos evoke not only Monk but also early Cecil Taylor. The rhythm section of drummer Luther Gray and bassist Jef Charland lays down a foundation of elegant, imperturbable swing, while reedist Matt Langley and trombonist Jeff Galindo sketch out muted counterpoint to Karayorgis's written parts and play crackerjack solos. It's easily one of the best jazz records I've heard this year.
Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, June 30, 2011

My favorite albums of 2011
Boston's Pandelis Karayorgis is one of jazz's best and most underrated pianists, and this may just be his high-water mark thus far. His knotty originals recall the earliest work of Cecil Taylor, with elegant, swinging propulsion from bassist Jef Charland and drummer Luther Gray, and the front line of saxophonist Matt Langley and trombonist Jeff Galindo brings smart, contrapuntal sparring to the indelible themes.
Peter Margasak

A longstanding adherent of intimate duo and trio settings, Boston-based pianist Pandelis Karayorgis' discography has been dominated by small combo recordings since the early 1990s, with many founded on the venerable configuration of piano, bass and drums. A radical traditionalist with a penchant for the acute angles and strident tonalities of advanced post-bop, Karayorgis' recent exploits with bassistJef Charland and drummer Luther Gray have earned him well-deserved praise. System Of 5 is the debut of Karayorgis' newest ensemble, presenting yet another facet of his prolific artistry—an acoustic quintet featuring veterans Charland and Gray joined by fellow Beantown residents saxophonist Matt Langley and trombonist Jeff Galindo.

Laden with thorny melodies, sophisticated harmonies and shifting rhythms, Karayorgis' labyrinthine compositions eschew the predictability of conventional structures, reveling in the spontaneous potential of mutually improvised narratives. Karayorgis' beguiling writing draws a concise conceptual parallel to his impetuous improvisations; careening through Tristano-like intervals with Monk-ish voicings, his knotty cadences regularly build to a chromatic frenzy of staccato arpeggios and crushing tone clusters reminiscent of a young Cecil Taylor. Charland and Gray are well-attuned to Karayorgis' oblique ruminations, navigating modulating time signatures with a deft balance between pliant old school swing and nuanced abstraction. Langley's abstract blues sensibility and sinuous tone makes a perfect foil for Galindo's gruff avant-expressionism and blustery timbre; their vociferous bacchanalian interplay infuses the proceedings with an impulsive verve that traces its lineage from the soulful New Thing experiments of Archie Shepp and Roswell Rudd back to the roiling fervor of Charles Mingus' seminal Jazz Workshop endeavors.

Throughout the date, Karayorgis and company craft engaging cubist collages from tortuous bop contours and exuberant freewheeling interludes that bristle with coruscating textural detail. Though based on distinct unison themes, Karayorgis' tuneful pieces avoid rote head-solo-head formalism in favor of intricate geometric arrangements featuring interlocking sections for his bandmembers to navigate. Brimming with palpable enthusiasm, Charland and Gray embrace the challenge, double-timing tempos and inverting rhythmic accents with mercurial glee. Karayorgis leads by example, regularly abandoning conventional harmonic progressions during unfettered excursions that juxtapose dissonant lyricism with ecstatic fervor. Langley and Galindo follow suit, transposing gnarled motifs into rapturous exhortations. Expertly negotiating the tenuous divide between inside and outside traditions, System Of 5 is one of Karayorgis' most compelling releases—a stirring session that subtly expands upon the historical jazz continuum, inspired by the lessons of the past.
Troy Collins, All About Jazz, July 2011

Pianist Pandelis Karayorgis is a radical traditionalist, developing a sometimes-thorny personal idiom out of the sharper edges of bop and postbop. You can identify the tradition’s beginnings with Lennie Tristano and Thelonious Monk, the former a model of linear exploration, the latter a master of the precisely-aimed percussive dissonance. There’s a common preference for the unexpected leap, counterpoint and complex harmonies, whether they’re ambiguous or unresolved. In Karayorgis’ case you can then supplement the list with a long line of slightly cranky originals. Art Lange mentions many in his liner note here - Sun Ra, Hasaan Ibn Ali, Misha Mengelberg and Herbie Nichols - and you might add Andrew Hill and the young Cecil Taylor to the list. It’s a line of jazz thought that simultaneously insists on reinvention and the oblique angle.

Here Karayorgis has assembled a quintet of generally lesser-known players, including saxophonist Matt Langley, trombonist Jeff Galindo and bassist Jef Charland, all anchored by Luther Gray’s drums, an essential component in so much New England-based music. Galindo reaches deep into the trombone’s idiomatic voices, summoning up the vocalic bluster that Roswell Rudd preserved from prebop and Langley is sometimes engaged in a kind of atonal blues, a thrusting line that is constantly touching on points unexpected. The group manages to play a lot at any one time, with the odd sensation of a single mind and a number of voices, from contrapuntal arguments with one’s self to sudden joyous swing, akin to some of the best Mingus ensembles. It likely comes from the glue, oddly tenuous yet insistent, which Karayorgis provides both as composer and pianist, whether launching a solo in multiple directions or throwing off counterpoint, counterrhythms and splashes of keyboard color.

In some odd sense this CD might have been recorded on any day in the last 50 years (“Seventh Wonder” directly echoes the bassline as lead of Eric Dolphy’s “Hat and Beard”), but whatever day it was, it was a highly creative one for a band deeply in touch with the continuum, alive to the shared moment and their own possibilities.
Stuart Broomer, The New York City Jazz Review, June 2011

One of the major attributes of System of 5 pertains to the modality of New England area pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, which lies between modern jazz, with heavy rhythmic nods to Thelonious Monk, and a newer slant that parallels the current state of jazz imperialism. Backed by a new band, the musicians overlap mainstream persuasions with tricky time signatures and passionate improvisational implementations. The pianist abides by a democratic process, but also incorporates well-rehearsed complexities into the grand schema.

The quintet gels to a swing vibe that appears and decentralizes within various movements. In addition, Karayorgis is a melody-maker throughout these absorbing works. The ensemble skirts the free side of matters, but the pianist's compositions are designed with structure. This is not another formulaic post-bop extravaganza, however; Karayorgis and the soloists weave between geometric-like architectures, amid a distinct sense of expressionism.

The swing and bop elements are represented in various flavors as the leader cranks out a Monk-ish groove, followed by soul-stirring solos from saxophonist Matt Langley and trombonist Jeff Galindo on the opener, "Transit." And on "Due East," Karayorgis comps, contrasts and accelerates the band, while Langley dishes out a scorching tenor sax vamp.

The quintet injects the mind's eye with linear theme-building exercises amid some pop, sizzle and zigzagging choruses along the way. Yet the big picture dictates that Karayorgis's sustainable compositions and focused support system seamlessly aligns a manifold game-plan with a highly-entertaining form factor on System Of 5
Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz, April 2011

"Vertraut und doch überraschend",, vermerkt Art Lange im Covertext. Der Grieche Karayorgis ist nach seinem Studium bei Paul Bley, Dave Holland u.a. in Boston geblieben. Er verbindet die ganze Jazztradition mit Ideen aus der modernen Klassik, besonders erkennbar bei seinen durchkonstruierten freitonalen Themen. Es fallen Verwandte ein wie Tristano, Herbie Nichols, Andrew Hill und Cecil Taylor. Erstmals erscheint Karayorgis auf CD nicht im Duo oder Trio, und er weiss die instrumentalen Farben abwechslungsreich zu kombinieren. Formal und rhythmisch ist das Quintett meistens der Boptradition verpflichtet, aber der Leader dosiert die Mittel, sei es, dass ein Abschnitt allmählich in eine turbulente, freie Kollektivimprovisation übergeht oder dass Tempo, Rhythmus und Besetzung von Teil zu Teil markant ändern. Im ersten Stück improvisieren zuerst unbegleitet Bass und Posaune und dann Tenorsax und Schlagzeug. Karayorgis benutzt auch Backgrounds und kleine Zwischenspiele. Virtuos verknüpfen Galindos urige Posaune und Langleys Saxofon mit Hawkins‑artigem Sound das traditionelle Idiom mit Chromatik und Free‑Jazz‑Ausdruck. Am Klavier bewegt sich Karayorgis zwischen Ellingtoneskem und atonalen Clustern. Unkonventionell und doch solid.
JS, Jazz'n'more (Switzerland), May 2011

Habitué des duos avec Matt Maneri ou Eric Pakula, le pianiste grec Pandelis Karayorgis, installé à Boston depuis le milieu des années 80, n’est pas très connu dans l’Hexagone, malgré une expérience de sideman pour Joe Maneri, Ken Vandermark ou encore Guillermo Gregorio. On perçoit dans la sobriété anguleuse de son jeu une forte influence de Tristano, mais surtout de Monk, notamment par le raffinement de la main gauche - il fait de lui un allié très sûr de la base rythmique qu’il choisit toujours prolixe et solide. C’est en trio, notamment en compagnie du contrebassiste Nate McBride, que Karayorgis évolue principalement. En témoigne un premier album pour Hat Hut en 2008, Betwixt, avec le batteur Curt Newton. Il y reprenait bon nombre de standards - notamment de Monk - au Fender Rhodes.
Avec System of 5, toujours chez Hat Hut, il revient à une formule en apparence plus classique, même si elle recèle des trouvailles et des chausses-trapes inscrites dans sa praxis. Comme le remarque Art Lange dans ses notes de pochette - comme toujours très riches pour le fameux label à tranche orange -, ce « Système » de musiciens bostoniens s’appuie sur de constants duos, autant de conversations qui construisent un propos commun au sein de l’orchestre pour former comme un tableau cubiste. Dans cette configuration, le flegmatique batteur Luther Gray et le remarquable contrebassiste Jef Charland occupent une place centrale, le pianiste agissant comme un boutefeu exerçant un contrôle constant (cf. le bien nommé « Two-ophony », par exemple). « Seventh Wonder » et sa ligne de basse altérée évoquent le « Hat and Beard » de Dolphy, autre grand inspirateur de ce quintet. Pivot de l’album, le morceau se construit autour d’un premier dialogue entre le contrebassiste et le saxophoniste Matt Langley mais prend toute son ampleur dans un remarquable échange entre Karayorgis et le tromboniste Jeff Galindo (une découverte !), véritable source de l’énergie qui émane de ce System of 5.
Les deux soufflants jouent un rôle complémentaire, même si on peut trouver Langley plus en retrait que son comparse. Sur un morceau comme « Elastic », où Galindo est explosif, il trouve toujours une formule rythmique structurante avec le contrebassiste. Mais qu’on prête attention à la relation privilégiée entre pianiste et saxophoniste sur « Due East », entre autres, et on comprend vite que le second sait être d’une rare pugnacité lorsqu’il est porté par les accords abrasifs du premier. Le quintet, bien que très dirigé, utilise avec fougue la liberté que lui laisse intelligemment le leader. Car Karayorgis aime à mettre en valeur ses musiciens, et son System of 5 fonctionne décidément très bien.
Franpi Barriaux, CitizenJazz.com, 20 juin 2011

Né à Athènes en 1962, le pianiste Pandelis Karayorgis a étudié au New England Conservatory de Boston (USA), ce qui explique qu'il aime aborder le jazz par des chemins escarpés. Ce disque surprend parce qu'il est totalement fondé sur les conventions du jazz mais aussi profondément libre. Intemporelle, cette musique évoque Monk, Lennie Tristano, les prémices du free autant que les légendes du bop. Une grande réussite par un quintet à la cohésion parfaite.

... In dieser Hinsicht ist sein Kollege­ Jef Charland keineswegs so keusch und walked auf „System Of 5“, was das Zeug hält. Dass dabei auch Eric Dolphys „Hat and Beard“ (vom Jahrhundertalbum „Out to Lunch“) anklingt, ist symptomatisch für den hellwachen Dialog, den das Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet mit der Tradition der Jazzmoderne unterhält: Die Bezugnahme des griechischstämmigen US-Pianisten auf Thelonious Monk etwa ist unüberhörbar. Gewagte Beschleunigungs- und Bremsmanöver und eine hohe Flexibilität in der Aufgabenverteilung der einzelnen Instrumentalisten zeichnen dieses spielfreudige Ensemble aus, das den Reinheitsge- und Spaßverboten mancher Avantgarde tapfer trotzt.
Klaus Nüchtern, falter.at, März 2011

It’s a freebop spillway and a very convincing one to boot. The Boston pianist has a reed ‘n’ bone front line steadily erupting, and the pliability offered by the rhythm section is almost outweighed by the vigor of its swing.
Jim Macnie

Il quintetto del greco/ statunitense Pandelis Karayorgis riesce a svincolarsi dalle regole non scritte del bop grazie a una visione “obliqua” dell’impalcatura armonica dei brani (è proprio il piano del leader a dirigere il flusso sonoro in direzioni imprevedibili) e all’utilizzo di uno strumento solista dal suono incompromissorio qual è il trombone di Jeff Galindo, utilizzato ad affiancare - e più spesso a sostituire! - i sassofoni di Matt Langley. Solisti atipici come Grachan Moncur III e Ray Draper ascoltano dall’alto e approvano con un cenno del capo, mentre possiamo affermare senza tema di smentita, dopo quasi vent’anni di attività da solista di Karayorgis, che il piano jazz d’avanguardia ha senz’altro trovato un nuovo esponente di punta - e guarda caso, siamo ancora una volta dalle parti della nuova scena newyorkese dei vari Malaby e Maneri.
Vincenzo Santarcangelo 8/10, Agosto, July 2011

Karayorgis, pianista greco di adozione bostoniana, ha associato sovente il suo nome al violinista Mat Maneri oppure ai fiatisti Tony Malaby Ken Vandermark, Eric Pakula, Guillermo Gregorio. In "System Of Five", tracce del 2008 infine editate, si avvale invece di una band dai nomi poco noti (Matt Langley, Jeff Galindo, Jef Charland, Luther Gray). Il quintetto affronta i temi del leader con notevole efficacia, incuneandosi fra modernita e tradizione in modo disinvolto. Pandelis ha in testa Monk spesso e volontieri, ma poi spinge oltre le sui ambizioni. I compagni sono cosi stimolati a scolpire brani sfuggenti, considerati da angolazioni continuamente diverse. Nonostante cio le radici afroamericane rimangono intatte, gli intellettualismi banditi.
Piercalo Poggio, Blow Up, July 2011

D’origen grec, Pandelis Karayorgis (Atenes, 1962) es traslladava als Estats Units el 1985. Un cop allà, amb 23 anys, toca el piano en tota mena de grups de jazz alhora que realitza estudis d’economia i es perfecciona al Conservatori de Nova Anglaterra a Boston. D’aquella època data la seva intensa relació amb la música de Thelonious Monk, una relació personal gens minsa pel que podem deduir de l’escolta d’aquest System of 5. Situat en els llindars del jazz modern, entre les lianes rítmiques de l’estil de Monk i una forta tendència a la improvisació lliure l’àlbum presenta algunes de les intervencions més lluïdes d’uns solistes pletòrics en aquestes sessions d’enregistrament realitzades el juny del 2008 a la ciutat portuària de New Haven -a mig camí entre Nova York i Boston. Companys tots de luxe per a un llarg viatge a través dels nous terrenys harmònics d’aquesta música de textures i articulacions complexes, el trajecte que Karayorgis proposa aquí s’articula sovint a través de nombrosos duos desenvolupats de la mateixa manera que els elements constitutius d’un retrat cubista. La bateria de Luther Gray i el contrabaix de Jef Charland són referències constants per a l’energia que sorgeix dels monòlegs i les inspirades línies fugisseres del saxo de Matt Langley. Una expressió flegmàtica que arriba al seu  punt culminant amb el diàleg que s’estableix a Seventh Wonder entre Karayorgis, al piano, i el trombonista Jeff Galindo, una vertadera mostra de l’amarga puresa enrarida d’un swing continu, omnipresent al llarg d’aquesta geometria d’arestes variables i angles obtusos. La forma, desencaixada, retroba a Due East la seva essència més immediata en uns motius ofegats d’un lirisme dissonant i uns ritmes embogits, conduits per la neurosi d’una sensibilitat que fa d’aquest sistema de cinc una màquina única, perfectament engreixada.
 Vicent Minguet, Sonograma Magazine, October 2011






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