The Soulful Sound of Helen Tzatzimakis
Bruce Von Stiers
The U.S. isn't the only country that brings forth great vocalists. Countries in Europe have often had their own shining vocalists. Also the countries that dot the Mediterranean also have brought forth a few. One such vocalist hails from Greece. Her name is Helen Tzatzimakis.
Helen's 2012 debut album, Kirki, was well received and afforded the opportunity to perform for a vaster audience. This popularity ultimately cumulated into Helen's latest album, which is titled Soulfully.
The album was released earlier this year by Cobalt Music. It was recorded and mixed by Nikos Pitloglou. The musicians performing on the album were Stelios Chatzikaleas on trumpet, Antonis Arvanitis on contrabass and Manos Anthanasiadia on piano. He also did all the song arrangements. There are ten songs on the album and it has a play time of fifty minutes.
Helen is fluent in several languages. And so most of the songs on the album are sung in languages other than English.
The first song is Sa Mayemeno To Myalo Mou. Helen does the song in Greek. The title translates to There Is A Spell On My Mind. The vocals are lilting, yet almost haunting in front of light piano. There is also some terrific, haunting trumpet in the song.
Patsy Cline's version of Crazy was the first I ever remember hearing. Over the years I have heard a lot of other vocalists tackle this Willie Nelson penned classic. Helen provides her own rendition of the song on this album. It showcases Helen's great vocal talents while leaving the keeps the original styling in place. Which makes this a better than average rendition of the song.
One of the most popular versions of the French love lament tune Ne Me Quittes Pas was done my Nina Simone. The English translation of the title is Don't Leave Me. It is a sad and endearing song that Helen pours her heart into as she sings it in French.
It is said that Billie Holiday wrote the song Don't Explain when she learned her husband had cheated on her. It is a sad, yet endearing song. Helen does an excellent job with her rendition of it.
There is some terrific trumpet in the song Gracias a la Vida. This song by Chilean composer Violetta Parra has been done by a lot of people, including Joan Baez. Helen brings beautiful, aching vocals to this classic tune.
Next up is Ederlezi. It is a classic Balcan gypsy folk song that has beautiful music. Again Helen has excellent vocals.
Rosa Enjeitada translates into Abandoned Rose. Helen gives a wonderful aching rendition of the song.
Mikis Thosdorakis co-wrote the song Phaedra for the film of the same name starring Anthony Perkins. Helen does a pretty nice job with the song.
Youkali is a tango. You can almost envision a sultry brunette dancing with her partner while listening to Helen singing this song.
The final song on the album is So Sad. It is indeed a sad yet beautiful song with great trumpet, with surf sound effects opening it.
Helen Tzatzimakis has already made a big splash in Europe. With this new album, Soulfully, Helen should make a big splash in the Americas as well.
Soulfully is available at selected traditional and online music retailers.
To find out more about Helen Tzatzimakis, visit her official site at http://www.helentzatzimakis.com/en/
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© 2015 Bruce E Von Stiers