Divine reeds, indeed – as the set features a host of rare recordings from Greek clarinet player Tassos Chalkias
– recorded here for his own short-lived label! Tassos
has a sound that's amazing – rooted in older Greek modes, but filled with the sorts of tones you'd hear from modern jazz musicians on the instrument in the postwar years – qualities that are so unique, they even had Benny Goodman once saying that Chalkias
had plenty to teach him! Yet there's a lot more going on here than just clarinet – plenty of amazing percussion, exotic stringed instrumentation, and a number of different singers who show up on some of the vocal tracks. The package is every bit as wonderful as the sounds within – a huge booklet that tells the story of Tassos
' life and musical journey – with titles that translate as "Berries & Pears", "The Bride's Dance", "I Lost My Loved One", "Old Willow Tree", "Immigrant's Wish", and "For The Sake Of The Damned Money".