Sumiglia is Savina Yannatou‘s first ECM studio album and her first creative collaboration with producer Manfred Eicher.
Pooling songs from Greece, Corsica, Italy, Sicily, Galicia (Spain), Palestine, Albania, Bulgaria, Armenia, Moldavia and the Ukraine, Sumiglia both celebrates the differences between the traditions and the common ground they share. The musicians reveal a deep feeling for the melodies they explore, treat them with great respect, and when the music seems to demand it, follow their implications until increasingly free improvisation becomes an inevitability.
Sumiglia (ECM CD B0004046-02) is also a vocal, and linguistic, tour-de-force. Savina, possessed of a voice that always seems a naturally expressive instrument, nevertheless has the ability to move in and out of roles and characters (and dialects and idioms) with an actress’s or opera singer’s facility: she becomes the protagonists of her songs – the orphaned child of “Porondos viz partjan”, the suffering lover of “Sta kala lu serenu”. the war-weary narrator of “Terra can nun senti”, the Greek bride of “Evga mana mou
Drawing on the open-ended arrangements of Kostas Vomvolos, the band is able to match Yannatou’s mercurial changes of mood. Sumiglia also gives the fullest account yet of the group’s instrumental range. The line-up is: Savina Yannatou: vocals; Kostas Vomvolos: accordion, qanun, kalimba; Yannis Alexandris: tambura, ud, guitar; Michalis Siganidis: double-bass; Kyriakos Gouventas: violin, viola; Haris Lambrakis: nay; and Kostas Theodorou: percussion.