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8 Sep 2016

Mimis Plessas & The Orbiters “Greece Goes Modern" 1967 Greece







Mimis Plessas & The Orbiters “Greece Goes Modern" 1967 Greece beat, bossa nova,ethnic, folklore, fuzz,garage, instrumental, jazz,organ, psychedelic, reed,samba, soul, traditional 
full
This LP from 1967 by composer and conductor Mimis Plessas must be one of the grooviest music that ever came from the sixties Greece, some say this is the holy grail of Greek jazz music. This LP was actually a jazz fusion based on Greek old traditional folk songs, but here expressed with a new fresh beat, funky hip grooves, psychedelia, samba and bossa. The result is a groovy jazz lounge love affair, with fuzzy psychedelic guitars in a Greek atmosphere. Damned groovy! ….. 

Recorded in 1966 and released on lp in 1967 for the needs of an advertising broadcast for “Fix” beer. The 10 tracks of the album are greek traditional folk songs masterfully treated in a modern way by Mimis Plessas and his band, the Orbiters. 
Played ultra-loungy and with some “freak-out”/fuzzy guitar overtones they follow a refreshing, jazzy direction without losing their folk originality! …. 

Greece. Hardly any other pop genre in Europe has been influenced so deeply by it’s own musical history. No wonder if you take in consideration the numerous dramatic social and political events the country had to endure in the 20th century: 

WW I and II, Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), The Greek Civil War (1946-49) and dictatorship of dictators Ioannis Metaxas (in the thirties) and Papadópoulos (in the sixties) had a huge impact on the music singers and songwriters. 

Basically Greek popular music falls apart in two separate genres: 

The Rembétiko / Éntekhno genre is the more traditional of the two, a sort of Greek blues with songs filled with drama, passion, romance, and bitterness. 

On the other hand, the more up tempo (‘positive’) genre called Laïkó (later Laïká), it incorporates more international known music styles but they always seem to slip in a typical Greek instrument or arrangement. For a foreigner it sometimes is hard to distinguish whether a song is Rembétiko or Laïkó and you probably have to be Greek to hear the difference! ας πάει στην ιστορία μας? 

Its popularity increased until embraced by the majority of the working class, reaching its classical period in the 40’s/50’s. The principal instruments of Rebétiko were thebouzouki, baglama and guitar. The classic songs were distinguished for their power of expression and passion. Within the music style, one can detect the contributions/influence of folk song, Byzantine chant, and Eastern music. 

After the end of WWII and the Greek Civil War, Greece entered a period of relativeeconomic prosperity and the middle class, which had suffered through extreme poverty during the 40’s, began living more comfortably, a fact that was bound to be reflected in its choice of entertainment. These social and economic improvements transformed the music: its themes, structure and visibility. 

Along the 50’s two dominant styles for Greek pop became clear. On one hand you had the Rembétika, a softer more western approach to Rebétiko. On the other you hadLaïkó music, that became the mainstream music of Greece during the coming decades, with love and relationships figuring prominently as key themes. 

Let’s go to our artist: 

Mimis Plessas was born on 12 October 1924 in Athens. He attended the Lycee Leonin, studied at the Physics Department of the University of Athens and then went to America to pursue his studies. At a young age he became the first solo piano in Greek Radio. In 1952, it won the first prize of music at the University of Minnesota. He then, began working with composition and since 1956 as a conductor and composer. 

Its artistic and compositional activity covers the last 50 years, all areas of music: theater, cinema, radio and television, having to his credit 104 movies and 70 plays (!!). He has conducted numerous major orchestras around the world, such his offer in Paris in 1958, Edinburgh and the U.S. in 1964 and 1965 respectively. 
The maestro was also the producer of the historic radio show ‘In 30 Seconds’ over the decades of 60’s/70’s. He equally participated in most international and Greek juries of music festivals, artistic events and such. Lastly, Plessas is a member of the Greek Society of Playwrights, Composers and Songwriters, as well as numerous honorifics awards. He is currently retired and lives in Athens. 

Let’s go to our album: 

In 1967 he released what is often mentioned as ‘the holy grail’ of Greek jazz music. This was a jazz fusion based on Greek traditional folk songs, the outcome was a fresh jazz, beat, psychedelic, funky, samba, bossa nova (!!) orchestration that re-introduced the old material, improvised and suggested a new and very interesting sound. 

Originally recorded in 1966 for the needs of an advertising broadcast (‘Fix’ beer!), the 10 tracks of the album are masterfully treated in a modern way by Mimis Plessas and his band, the Orbiters. Playing ultra-loungy, with some fuzzy guitar overtones, they follow a jazzy direction without losing their folk originality! 
by interstellar medium.......

Credits 

Bass: Andreas Rodousakis 
Clarinet, Flute: Nikos Guinos 
Conductor, Arranged By, Liner Notes: Mimis Plessas 
Cover, Painting, Sleeve, Design: Vassilis Fotopoulos 
Drums, Percussion: Igor Raniets 
Electric Guitar: Titos Kaliris 
Flute, Electric Guitar: Andreas Ortega 
Orchestra: Orbiters, The 
Organ [Philicorda]: Mimis Plessas 
Recorded by: Yannis Smirneos 
Written by: Traditional 
Companies 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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