Thursday, January 3, 2013

Harry Belafonte & Nana Mouskouri - An Evening

Following the pattern of his album duet with Lena Horne on songs from Porgy and Bess, Harry Belafonte teamed up this time with Greek chanteuse Nana Mouskouri. Belafonte first performed with Mouskouri in Burlington, VT in 1964 during his first college tour. As with Lena Horne, Belafonte sings only two duets with Mouskouri; the remaining tunes may as well have been featured on solo albums, because the two singers didn't even share instrumentalists -- Belafonte used his usual stable of musicians, including guitarist Ernie Calabria, bassist John Cartwright, and percussionist Ralph MacDonald, while Mouskouri was accompanied by bouzouki player George Petsilas. The songs are sung in Greek with Mouskouri's naturally coming off as more authentic. Most of the tunes were written by the prolific Greek songwriter Manos Hadjidakis, writer of "Never on Sunday." - by Cary Ginell

This album will appeal to all fans of Nana Mouskouri's early recordings. She recorded this album with Harry Belafonte as a result of their successful college tours of the United States and Canada. All of the songs will be known by Nana's fans. The songs are shared between Nana and Harry. They sing two together and four each individually. The songs are named in English with the anglicised Greek name underneath. Eight are compositions by the great Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis who, along with Nana, created a whole new body of contemporary music based on Greek folklore. It is interesting to compare, for example, the track entitled "Dream", (otherwise better known as Odos Oniron) with Nana's subsequent recordings of this song, especially the live recording on the album "Recital 70" at the Olympia, Paris. It is one of my favourite Hadjidakis compositions that Nana sings, and this arrangement is accompanied by sizzling bouzouki strings. Nana's excellent accompanist is George Petsilas, her former husband. I like Nana Mouskouri's voice above that of Harry Belafonte's, because I've always been a Nana fan, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate Harry's singing here. The song "If you are thirsty" is one of the two duets on the album and is really beautiful to listen to. If you are a fan of Nana Mouskouri then you'll want to own this album - I've had it for years as an LP (but only in Mono) so it was nice to hear it in stereo at last. - by blackjemcat,

Artist: Harry Belafonte and Nana Mouskouri
Album: An Evening With H. Belafonte & N. Mouskouri
Year: 1966
Label: RCA (1990)
Runtime: 29:55

1.  My Moon (Fengari Moo) (George Petsilas) 3:03
2.  Dream (Oneero) (Manos Hadjidakis/Henry Onorati) 2:39
3.  If You are Thirsty (Kean Tha Depsasees) (Nikos Gatsos/Manos Hadjidakis) 3:16
4.  The Train (To Traino) (Manos Hadjidakis) 3:19
5.  In the Small Boat (Mes Tin Varka) (Manos Hadjidakis) 3:22
6.  The Town Crier (Telalees) (Manos Hadjidakis) 2:12
7.  Walking on the Moon (Pame Mia Volta) (Manos Hadjidakis) 3:37
8.  The Baby Snake (Feedakee) (Manos Hadjidakis) 3:17
9.  The Wide Sea (Thalassa Platia) (Manos Hadjidakis) 2:31
10.  Irene (Erene) (George Petsilas) 2:34

Harry Belafonte (Vocals)
Nana Mouskouri (Vocals)
George Petsilas (Bouzouki and Guitar)
Ernie Calabria (Bourouki and Guitar)
Jay Berliner (Guitar)
John Cartwright (Bass Violin)
Percy Brice (Percusiion)
Ralph MacDonald (Percussion)



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