Release Date: 07/26/11
Intense and Accomplished
Hadzichristos tends to be grouped with prominent and prolific bouzouki-playing singer-songwriter colleagues such as Tsitsanis, Papaioannou, Vamvakaris and Hiotis, whose careers spanned both the pre- and post-WW2 periods. He was the oldest, born four years before Vamvakaris. He hailed from Asia Minor, and had experienced the horrors of war before reaching mainland Greece in 1923. A welder, he must have been an accomplished musician long before leaving his day job to work professionally from 1933. As well as bouzouki he played guitar, piano and accordion, though he only played bouzouki on his records. And his relatively short recording career started later than, and ended before, those of his illustrious colleagues. The 'rebetiko' bouzouki style of the 1930s evolved among a small group of people around Athens. Each of the leading players seems to have influenced the others, but uniquely Hadzichristos was indifferent to virtuosic show, preferring a classic elegance and simplicity. One aspect distinguishes him from nearly all his contemporaries - he avoided songs with drug-related lyrics. Hadzichristos' voice marks him out: an intense moaning tenor - a sign of his Asia Minor origin. Seemingly constantly in pain no matter what the subject, this led one of his associates to assert that his voice was the expression of a tortured life. An over-simplified view, but his music was totally unlike that of the 'salon' kantadas of the period - the rebetiko kantada makes no concessions to upper class taste. It is perhaps necessary for a group of musicians who needed to make a living after the introduction of a fascist dictatorship. A number of his own songs have become perennials and he himself is remembered with affection.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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