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2 Aug 2017

Aris San “Record Seven” 1974 Greece Israel: Aris San: ένας Έλληνας θρύλος των 60s στο Ισραήλ

Aris San “Record Seven” 1974 Greece Israel Aris San: ένας Έλληνας θρύλος των 60s στο Ισραήλ
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Israel. As one of the first lands to form after WWII, Der Jundesntaat it’s been sought after since the biblical Diaspora and theorized by Theodor Herzl from the late XIX century. Declared and recognized as a state in 1948/49 from Mandatory Palestine, this controversial maneuver suffered rejection from the Arab League and other organs linked to the Palestinian cause. The conflicts and tensions among the two, are one of the most iconic cases of intolerance and racism in our history!

The Israeli occupations (since 1967), armed conflicts and hatred shown by the parties, seem to be viewed with compliance eyes by the Western society.
With the strong support and lobby from U.S. and England this young country in merely 10 years tripled your population to almost 3.5 million, much caused by the Aliyah (jewish immigration) and an international immigration boom, turning a secluded society into a mixture of cultural/religious influences that arrived from Iraq, Russia, Tunisia, Yemen, Germany, Iran, Poland, Romania and many others.

Aris San arrived in 1957 seeking a place to show his electric abilities and in less than five years would become one of the greatest stars of Israel, the so-called King of Jaffa.
Aristotelis Saisanas (January 19, 1940 – July 25, 1992) was born in Kalamata, Greece in a Orthodox family. With 8 years old they moved to Athens, where he completed his studies at the elementary school. With 11 years, won a young talent competition and at 16 began performing in taverns, singing and playing guitar. (!)

He moved to Israel when he was 17, where quickly became a local star singer. The early 60’s had started a Greek wave of popular (mostly laika based) music in Israel, nightclub related music with bouzouki originating from Athens and Thessaloniki.
Arianna nightclub in Jaffa, became Aris ‘headquarters’, even general Moyshe Dayan loved his music and helped him to legalize its affairs. His shows became very popular, not only ordinary people came to see him, but also politicians and the highest army officers. Thanks to his relations, Aris San got himself an Israeli citizenship (almost impossible to obtain for a non-Jew) and his career was promptly rising.

In mid 60’s, everyone was singing Aris’s hits, and by the end of the decade, he managed to sell more than 500,000 copies between singles and albums, starring film soundtracks, playing throughout the country (after the Six Day War), and definitely shaping the Israeli rock sound. (!) What it seemed to be a unstoppable career, quickly changed when rumors that Aris was a spy and stories of a violent relationship with Aliza Azikri (pregnant at the time) began circulating. Plus his open defense to Zionism (sic) and straight relation with the military, formed a boiling cauldron.
He left Israel hurt, and set out to conquer America, fleeing to New York in late 1970. There, he even shaved his mustache and started to wear a wig and large glasses. (!)

After moving to New York, in 1972 he opened a famous club called the Siroco, which will quickly become a temple of the bourgeoisie. Its frequenters could be seen by Anthony Quinn, Telly Savalas, Melina Mercouri, Harry Belafonte and the mob boss Joe Gallo, (for whom Bob Dylan wrote the Joey in Desire Lp).

Gallo stuck with him, pushing it to the coke addiction; Aris became a rich man, and enjoyed all the wealth and excitement that America of the 70’s and 80’s had to offer. With bad influences the sand castle collapsed, he got involved with drug deals, local mafiosi and was convicted for two years, in a drug possession charge.
Free from prision, his life dramatically changed. Suffering of paranoia and depression, he fled to Budapest, trying to revive his career. After a broken hand, he was hospitalized and died of a heart attack a few days later. Some claimed that the mob was involved, while others claim that he went underground. (RIP)

This curious tragic fact is retreated in the documentary The Mystery of Aris San (2007), directed by Dani Dothan and Dalia Mevorach, check it out!

Hataklit Hashvii or Record Seven is a truly masterpiece, despite not having the MEGA hit Dam Dam (probably his famous song). What i consider the pinnacle of his career, letting the romantic / beat side far away, Aris’s band (drums, bass, guitar and keyboards), also got sax and flute passages, female choir and light fuzz.
Singing in Greek and Hebrew (in previous albums he also sang in Spanish), his music got the perfect blend between the uptempo positive Laika style and the harmonic / melodic minor key influences from the East. Added to this, his superb technique in Guitar/Bouzouki timbre, smiling figure and behaved persona, distant from the rebellious western rock bands, made Israel embraced him as one of them.

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Im Etn Ani Lach Mi and Den Katalaveno gabaguillar ........................

Aris San, Moshe Oralevich & Moty Morad

Aris Trio

Aris San (1940 - 1992) was a famous Greek singer who immigrated to Israel and was one of the first to use electric guitar in a Greek music setting. 

“The status of popular Eastern music changed dramatically in the 1960s, withthe eruption of the “Greek” wave of popular music in Israel. “Greek popular music” in this context should be understood as the sound of hybrid nightclub music styles from Athens and Thessaloniki, generally referred to as laika (DeBoer 1996). A dominant feature of this sound is the presence of the bouzouki. This type of Greek music became a favorite style for Israeliborn Eastern Jews as well as for many non-Easterners. This wave is particularly connected to the rise to stardom of Greek singer Aris San. A seventeen-year-old non-Jew from Thessaloniki, San began to frequent Israel after 1956 and to appear in clubs in the port city of Haifa, which was populated by many Jews of Greek origin. Following a love affair with an Israeli 
girl, San settled in Israel and began to appear at the main venue of Greek music in Israel, the Arianna nightclub in Jaffa, owned by Shmuel Barzilay, a Thessalonician Jew. General Moshe Dayan, at the peak of his political power and popularity in the 1960s, is said to have been a fan of Aris San and even to have intervened to formalize the singer’s legal status. 

Aris San’s success and that of other contemporary Greek singers who landed in Israel was not a total breakthrough because the presence of Greek popular music in Israel predated his arrival. Nightclubs in Jaffa, such as Arianna, regularly hosted live Greek music and musicians in the 1950s. One may hypothesize that the success of Greek music of the laika style among mizrahi Jews was their way of eluding the quasi boycott of Israeli public culture on Arab music. Sometimes similar in sound and affective appeal, Greek laika music provided a legitimate way to publicly enjoy the type of sounds beloved by Jews from Arab countries....

A1, A2, A4, A6, B1, B3, B5, B6: Sung In Greek. 

A3, A5, B2, B4: Sung In Hebrew.

A1 Afilotimi
A2 To Palikari
A3 Gam Hapa'am
A4 Dipli Zoy Diplos Kaymos
A5 Im Eyn Ani Lach Mee
A6 Okutalyanos
B1 Den Katalaveno Tipota
B2 Rak Bachalom
B3 Katerina
B4 Hakol Sh'karim
B5 Alou Esikialou
B6 Tou Andra Tou

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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