Ioannis Vafeas
AVJ, 2021

January 23, 2021

Catharsis is the first album of the trio led by Ioannis Vafeas.

Ioannis Vafea’s trio is made up of three of the best jazz musicians on the island of Cyprus. The trio includes the leader on drums, Christos Yerolatsitis on double bass (Vafea’s musical partner for many years) and Michael Messios on piano. The group is well known in Cyprus and also abroad having often played in major international festivals.

Catharsis, their first album, was produced by AVJ. The recrod features eight songs: two originals written by Messios and one by Vafeas, the classic “Lotus Blossom” by Kenny Dorham, “If I Were A Bell” by Frank Loesser, and “Carolyn” by Lee Morgan as well as two compositions by Glafkos Kontemeniotis, the Cypriot pianist that has been residing in New York for over thirty years.

The album is characterized by great energy and intensity. The initial “Crack of A Dawn” (and also the reinterpretation of “Lotus Blossom”) moves in the modal terrains dear to Coltrane and McCoy Tyner. The title track skillfully mixes lyricism and intensity with a beautiful drum solo that develops over an ingenious piano ostinato.

“Rumble Seat” is a fun, danceable piece with the four-note piano riff in the foreground. The fun is maintained even during the cover of “If I Were A Bell”, which starts with a contagious medium groove.

“Carolyn” is a wonderful ballad that (further) highlights the talented Messios, while the concluding “Sketches Of Rhythm” is a walkway for the leader offering variations of the AABA form for solo drums.

Catharsis is a record that features a trio with a great interplay, original arrangements, interesting compositions, and an overwhelming energy that permeates the performances. It is a truly successful album.



Ioannis Vafeas Catharsis AVJ 2021 – copyrightJazzespresso 2020

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