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12 Dec 2015: George Heropoulos

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By Tony Pothitos

Monthly Meeting ACA at George Heropoulos

If it were not for Copland saying the above, it would be George Heropoulos. The second president of ACA’s history. A man of extremes despite the fact that it would not seem so.

An extremely good, and yes, professional tennis player, a brilliant scientist, a father with honours, an audiophile of ultra high end audio, and a knowledgeable musician.

If we add to this persona many more things, nothing would compare though to the one thing I admire George Heropoulos for.

The fact that he is such an honest and loving friend that it is almost impossible to compare to anyone I know alive.

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So excuse me if I am biased about what I am writing concerning his character, but, after all, I do know him personally for over 15 years, so yes, I do have something to say about him.

Need I say more? Shall we talk about his musical knowledge, his truly ecstatic nature when accompanied by a proper brew of a proper bean while listening to music then?

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Maybe another time, for now we let us get to the evenings event.

The Tracks...

Lars Danielsson - Suffering live

lars danielsson "suffering" live

Lars Danielsson seemed like every concert does, at first at least. Then the music starts and your become lost in thought and rivers and mountains make sense as the rhythm takes you into a blissful state of relaxation and musical intercourse. Watching them play was nothing less than dumbfounding. The drums were so different live than they are on a normal recording. The hands could be heard on the vertical drum and the guitar strings were so tight that I thought one might pop out and hit a star! That is how close we were to nature and with the music not blaring but mixing into the evening. What an experience. Even Edger Allen Poe would have problems trying to write about such an event.

Dead Brothers - Closer to you

The Dead Brothers - Closer To You

With a Christian name of a band called Dead Brothers, the last thing you think of when you sit in on any concert hall they play at would be romance, or “that closer to you” as the song is titled was by no means what I thought at first, which was a song claiming closer to death was near, than to find out it is about a loved one. Despite that, the simplicity in their lyrics, the smooth hasty voice of compelling thoughts come through the microphone directly to my ear, as I notice that he is always looking back at his piano player.
Their music is a juxtaposition between a banjo tone and a Hawaiian cultural event. Yet, as I sit here in NY listening to the trumpets I know it can’t be anything near that. It mixes old with new and new with jazz, Alabama and a touch of soul. A sitting with this group will definitely get you high. Just make sure you bring a bottle of the best you own. You will need it.

Oscar Peterson Trio - Bag's Groove

Oscar Peterson Bag's Groove

Sitting down after a short break in life, I thought that a double bass would make me feel better and if anyone could, then it would be Oscar Peterson and his band to make it happen. The smoke was so thick, not a butter knife but a saw couldn’t slice it! It really didn’t matter. With my eyes closed and the band in front of me they were silently decrypting melodies of my soul. The piano was slow and yet drilling with power at each stroke of the double bass accompanied it.
The sound was simple, and it danced on the waves of the sea like the wind turns water into white ash.
Between the songs, during their break, the silence made their music so much more important than I actually thought it was. The silence was dauntingly playing with my mind. The dance and flutter of music was gone in their absence and when they came back onto the stage I was like an addict, needing my first string, my first peddle and the piano to take me to the place I was before. Everything was a deception in this night’s affair. The trio is not a trio, it is hundreds of souls translated through the fingers of these fine musicians. Divine.

Patricia Barber - Ode to Billy Joe

Patricia Barber - Ode To Billy Joe

Now who would go to a show which is an Ode to Billy Joe? Someone who has come from another planet? Someone who hates Billy and wants to see if someone could make it better maybe? I know why I went, I was taken there.
If I had an appetite for a woman’s voice to hum me into space, then Patricia Barber and her double bass, is the way for me.
At very few concerts or shows have I taken off my clothes from being internally burdened by my soul trying to exit my body, when the heat from the inside was trying to bust out from the emotions brought on from the musicality alone. Something, only one can feel during a live performance, I might add, can make this happen. The fact that a double bass can cry and make me laugh in one solo is in itself a feat and worthwhile going to see her live. Great show. Great smile. Good setup and a sweet love this woman makes when she opens her mouth and sings to every single one of her audience members. Worth every dime indeed.

Rokia Traore – Dounia

Rokia Traore - Dounia

From my understanding the main chorus of this song translates to "no matter how bad today is, tomorrow is another day" . Her dancing around the obstacles is symbolic to going around (or dancing around) real life obstacles. I envy those who have seen her perform live as I am this evening. The speed of metaphors of music and dance take you into a trance which no need of the language can make it clearer than just watching each guitar play, and a voice moving across the stage as she does. The electrical guitar albeit at front plays low as to let the drums take the beat further into the prime of the meaning behind this artist’s intent.

Anne Bisson - Little Black Lake

Anne Bisson - Little black lake

Off the album Blue Lake, this artist and the cold weather made getting to the concert hall was all worth the effort. Her centre stage appearance is not extravagant unless you look at her, face on, as I did. The voice directed just to you and to no one else. Something no reproduction contraption would or could ever mimic no matter the money or time spent. Nothing could be more real than her breath on the microphone and the faint white skin sinking into your eyes. When she sang the words, I wish I was close to you, I thought she was looking at me! Record that!

Hubert Sumlin - Still a Fool

Hubert Sumlin - Still a Fool (ft. Keith Richards)

How can anyone even mistake Hubert as anything else than a bluesman who now rests in peace but everything that he left behind music wise, won’t let you be in peace!!! IF the blues, if soul, if music in general could wake up the dead, hearing Sumlin surely would be a contender in this competition. I was taken by surprise by the guitar, which was the devils work I am sure of. There is no way someone can play a guitar that way and not make a deal with the devil!! This live performance is proof that music started from Soul and the Blues. The Mesopotamia of the world one could say. How can this possibly be true? Honestly?
Where have I been all my life? Had I heard this when I was younger, I would have never gone to college and become a shrink.
This is the only medicine needed to heal 100 diseases I can think of.
Sincerely BLEW my mind. I needed two shots of whiskey after every song to recover from the shock of each song!

Canned Heat - On the Road Again

Canned Heat - On The Road Again [HQ]

Not only did these guys play at Woodstock, but revived countries like Germany into a rock and roll festive lust affair. Voices so clear and Harley Davidson meant, that two of their songs will go down in history as the ultimate Riders tunes in the world. Seeing them live might have meant nothing to me when I first saw them live at Woodstock, due to my angel age of the time, but now looking back, I cannot imagine my father not making me travel thousands of miles, from Montreal in Canada to go to hear and live the experience that this, and others did at the time. Musical, sensitive, honest and reality driven by experience and not by any need to be put into the hall of fame. Listening to them again was simply a gift.

In conclusion

I want to thank George, for taking me to every one of these live concerts. There is no emotion nor neuron, or any chemical in my body which will be the same after this journey he took us on tonight.

I may have well been to every one of the concerts mentioned above, I certainly heard everything they did, and actually could see most things as well.

A true, up heaving adventure into sound reproduction as every man on earth should experience at least once in his or her lifetime.

I bow and cannot wait to be invited again to tour the world again, and again, and again.

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