Guillaume Janssen - SPELLBINDING MUSIC
"Originally formed in 2008 and releasing their first album Sympnoia in 2010 as a traditional jazz quartet (piano, bass, drums and saxophone/clarinet), the Takoushis/Karapatakis sound quickly evolved with the introduction of the Cretan lyra of Zacharias Spyridakis on Seven Miles East (2012).
Widely played by Cretan and Greek folk bands performing a traditional song and dance repertoire, the Cretan lyra is a modern variant of the medieval Byzantine lyra and the instrument also features prominently in various Early Music and Baroque ensembles. In addition to his work with traditional bands and contemporary Greek composers, Zacharias Spyridakis has also been performing and recording extensively with Jordi Savall since 2011.
Removed from its “natural” context, the Cretan lyra adds a marvellous new sonic texture to the project, connecting its ancient lineage with a contemporary sound while also transposing the improvisational nature of Cretan traditional music to a jazz environment.
Introduced by an almost Modern-Classical theme on the piano, the title track of the album encapsulates the unique sound of the project with the lyra coming in halfway into the song and initiating a gorgeous dialogue with piano and bass before concluding the theme in unison with the piano."
Dave Sumner - eMusic.com
"...A beautiful recording that would put many of the world jazz albums released on ECM to shame. Lyrical, poignant, and textured music. A little bite here and there to keep things dangerous, but mostly tunes more likely to make the listener swoon. Oh so pretty. Find of the Week."
All About Jazz
"Terrific album, replete with world jazz exoticism and modern jazz improvisation. Fans of the ECM label should definitely be spending some time listening to this album, though it's worth mentioning that this album keeps to jazz territory far more often than many of ECM's albums. Just a beautiful track from a great album. Very excited to be featuring a song, here, on AllAboutJazz."
Linley Hamilton - BBC Ulster
"..a European band with a gorgeous approach, not just to harmony but rhythm.."
Petros Lazarou - Politis Newspaper
"...Gabriel Karapatakis and Marios Takoushis along with David Lynch, Zacharias Spyridakis and Stelios Xydias, presented their new album "Seven Miles East" at Axiothea last Friday [29/06/2012]. They raised the stakes of musical performance so much, that I declare without hesitation that it was the best musical performance I've seen in recent years. I dare say that the show has touched the fringes of excellence, because the five musicians were able to show a primary collectivism, which eliminated the specificity..."
Phondas Troussas - Vinylmine
"...the two of them together with the Cretan lyra player Zacharias Spyridakis, saxophone player David Lynch and drummer Stelios Xydias took part last year at the 12th European Jazz Festival in Gazi, giving one of the most interesting performances of the whole event. I now have their second CD, recorded in Cyprus and released by the musicians themselves. Takoushis' and Karapatakis' jazz (composers of all the tracks) is multidimensional. There is a Mediterranean feel (which includes Crete, Cyprus and even Asian Mediterranean coasts) and a melodic undertone which is most evident on the track "Forgotten April's Waltz". From there on though, there's a development of themes which shows musicians who are not only effective in their compositions but also in their improvisations. This unravels when one listens to the tracks one by one. From the introductory "Lazarus' Smile" (with Takoushis' scatting embelishing the melody) to the 11 minute long "Three Steps Above" (with the sound palettes of the lyra and the detailed development), the more traditional motifs of "In Jasmine's Words", the duet of "Seven Moments In A Clear Day" and the 13 minute long "East Lost Garden - recorded live" which shows in an exceptional way the talent of the two musicians and their group when handling long forms.
Takoushis / Karapatakis will definitely be intriguing us in the future with their unexpected sounds."