May 18, 2024

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CD review: Antoine Karacostas Trio – Insulary Tales 2019: Video, CD cover

Paris based pianist Antoine Karacostas may have set out to write the music for Insulary Tales to evoke the idea of insularity and one’s individual response to the natural world around them, but in the end he’s created an emotional, ten song cycle universal to us all.

A recording of hushed, sustained beauty and lyricism, each track offers its own lush reward. Taking his inspiration from the Greek urban music of the late Grecian composer Vassaillis Tsitsanis as well as the landscapes of the Cyclades, a group of islands in the Aegean Sea which lie just southeast of his native Greece, Karacostas shines a warm light as a guide for his intuitively supportive double bassist Anders Ulrich and drummer Simon Bernier. Featuring the breathy grace of trumpeter/ flugelhornist Andreas Polyzogopoulos,”L’Ici Et Maintenant” presents an eloquent opening statement of artistic intent and distinctive voice.

Gorgeously rendered, “Newborn Suite Part 1,” “Newborn Suite Part 2,” and the casual melodics of “O Milos (The Windmill)” (with smooth sailing guitarist Federico Casagrande) highlight the pianist’s sense of narrative pull and command. The jaunty swing of “To Steki (The Hangout)” and Tsitsanis’s playfully recognizable and arranged “I Theatrina (The Comedian)” quickly establishes the trio as ever ready and more than capable to go wherever Karacostas might lead in the future. Here’s to hoping for more.

  1. L’ici et maintenant (feat. Andreas Polyzogopoulos)
  2. To Steki
  3. Aharisti (feat. Federico Casagrande)
  4. Newborn Suite, Pt. 1
  5. Newborn Suite, Pt. 2
  6. I Theatrina
  7. Armeriki’s Song (feat. Andreas Polyzogopoulos)
  8. To Monopati (feat. Andreas Polyzogopoulos)
  9. O Milos (feat. Federico Casagrande)
  10. Calme plat

Personnel: Antoine Karacostas: piano; Anders Ulrich: double bass; Simon Bernier: drums; Federico Casagrande: guitar (3, 9); Andreas Polyzogopoulos: trumpet and flugelhorn (1, 7, 9).

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