Terra Nostra

Savina Yannatou, Primavera en Salonico

CD18,90 out of print

Exciting and very colourful ECM debut for innovative Greek singer Savina Yannatou and her band Primavera en Salonico. Yannatou and company propose a wide-open sound which embraces the simplest of folk songs as well as improvising that both draws upon far-flung traditions and moves beyond them. Music both highly attractive and emotionally-intense, recorded before a capacity crowd in Yannatou’s hometown of Athens.

Featured Artists Recorded

November 2001, Sfendona, Athen

Original Release Date


  • 1With the moon I'm walking
  • 2Ivan Nadõnka Dúmashe
  • 3A Fairy's Love Song
  • 4Ballo sardo
  • 5Yiallah Tnem Rima
    (Irhaw Rahabani, Traditional)
  • 6El Barquero
  • 7No Seas Capritchioza
    (Stravos Pandelides)
  • 8Chant Des Belles Mères
  • 9Schubho Lhaw Qolo
  • 10I've told you and I say again
  • 11Tres Hermanicas Eran
  • 12Los Bilbilicos
  • 13Hey het
  • 14Ah Mon Dié
  • 15Close Your Eyelids and See
    (Mikhail Nouayha)
  • 16Adieu Paure Carnavas
  • 17Wa Habibi
  • 18Madonna de la Grazia
  • 19Kadifé
  • 20Jaco
A live recording featuring a gloriously varied range of material - there are songs here from Greece, Lebanon, Spain, Sardinia, Bulgaria, the Caribbean and many other places besides. ... Yannatou's vocals are impeccable throughout, her articulation clear, the ornamentation precise and - when necessary - the voice gutsy without being strained. Another excellent female vocalist, Lamia Bedioui, sings on a number of the songs in Arabic. The subtle textures of the two female voices are offset perfectly by the instrumental backing. Primavera en Salonico is a mainly acoustic orchestra consisting of traditional instruments such as oud, kanun and ney, as well as guitar, accordion and double bass. It is an excellent and versatile band that copes gloriously with the demands made by the various styles on offer - this CD would be an enjoyable listen even without the vocals. ... This is one of Savina Yannatou's best releases and is highly recommended.
Chris Williams, Froots magazine
Der Albumtitel Terra Nostra signalisiert in unterschiedlichen Sphären den offenen Dialog zwischen der Sängerin und den Instrumentalisten, in fünf Titeln aber auch einen friedlichen "Schlagabtausch" zwischen zwei Stimmen aus gänzlich unterschiedlichen Kulturen (Yannatou und die tunesische Sängerin Lamia Bedioui), die wie aus einem Guss gelungen sind. Dieses Debüt auf ECM gerät zu einem Ereignis besonderer Art. Yannatous Stimme, zart und biegsam, gleich einem im Winde sich wiegenden Schilfhalm, scheint überirdisch. ... Und Primavera en Salonico ist hier das geniale Pendant, mit seiner improvisatorischen Reife und der expressiven instrumentalen Freiheit: Jazz und darüber hinaus.
Ulfert Goeman, Jazzpodium
The magical voice of Greek singer Yannatou is in rare form in this live performance, which includes compelling versions of material included in previous studio albums. She is accompanied by her regular ensemble, Primavera en Salonico, with singer Lamia Bedioui adding a Middle Eastern quality to five of the 20 tracks. Yannatou's versatility is little short of astonishing as she adapts her voice - sweet and childlike in some cases, harsh and masculine in others - to songs from Greece, Sardinia, the Hebrides, the Caribbean, Sephardic Spain and beyond. A stunning album, improving with each rehearing.
Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times
This powerful combination of traditional Greek folk music and jazz probably shouldn’t work on paper, but in reality it’s spellbinding. Making her name with classical music, Yannatou has experimented with folk music from all around the Mediterranean and Balkan regions, but this is no worthy exhumation of dying traditions. The players in her band breathe new life into the sometimes ancient rhythms, giving their leader room to soar with a technique that’s awesome, but never merely grandstanding.