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Demetrios Kastaris
NEO Magazine, September 2013

Once again here, Achilles is known for his use of an extraordinarily wide range of contrasting dynamics and tone colors, from exceedingly soft and almost inaudible, to exceptionally loud when chosen. Many other artists and other genres make very little use of dynamics and varied tone colors, but Achilles is known for using them masterfully.

For those who play the trombone and listen to Liarmakopoulos, they will notice that his embouchure (formation of the lips and opening of the air column) is tireless and flawless. His extraordinarily high notes are markedly controlled and performed without error, or any perceived effort, beyond what is known to be possible on any brass instrument. However, what is much more impressive than his extremely wide range and astonishing technique is the lyrical artistry which he is endowed with. The sweet melodic phrases that he performs so smoothly are able to capture your attention you and caress your heart gently.

Aside from the unimaginably impressive trombone playing and excellent production of this entire CD, the timbres and tone colors of the Argentine folkloric instruments like the bandoleon, and nylon string guitar are also very delightful, eclectic, and extremely appealing to listen to. © NEO Magazine Read complete review

James T. Decker
International Trombone Association Journal, October 2012

Liarmakopoulos’s playing is very sweet and expressive, flowing well from a phrase to phrase. It is clear that he is “telling a story” with every piece. Each work evokes a characteristic setting, which is portrayed well by Liarmakopoulos. The trombone never seems to be an obstacle to the intended emotion and nuance he presents with each composition.

The trombone playing with an ensemble of strings, piano, guitar, percussion and the aforementioned bandoneon is delicate, understated, and technically fluent. The light, transparent quality of this ensemble helps to bring about distinctive colors and qualities of the trombone not readily apparent in other contexts.

The performance throughout is quite impressive, warm, soulful and contains some fabulous arrangements that are great additions to the standard solo repertoire. © International Trombone Association Journal

Geoff Adams
Otago Daily Times, March 2012

The award-winning, Greek-born trombonist (a permanent player with Canadian Brass) serenades and scampers with seductively sweet tones in popular, jerky tango rhythms used by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992).

Assisting the soloist are backing musicians ranging from solo guitar in two parts of Histoire du Tango, to a string quartet in the Serie del Angel, with bandoneon (Hector del Curto) and marimba notable in places.

Included is Le Grand Tango, written as a virtuoso item for Rostropovich on cello, and now a brilliant tour de force for trombone and piano (Robert Thompson).

Highlight: magnificent trombone swoops in Michelangelo ’70 herald dazzling performances. © 2012 Otago Daily Times Read complete review

Terry Blain
BBC Music Magazine, March 2012

A swinging, sultry collection of arrangements of the Tango King’s music showcasing the exceptional talent of Greek trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos. © 2012 BBC Music Magazine

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2011

I wonder how many arrangements of Astor Piazzolla’s tangos can be made, this most recent one involves a solo trombone and an eleven-piece ensemble. It takes us into the jazz world where Piazzolla’s music had its origins, with the Greek-born trombonist, Achilles Liarmakopoulos, playing his role with a backing group ranging from solo guitar in the Histoire du Tango, to a string quartet in the Serie del Angel. When reviewing a host of Piazzolla discs for various publications over the years, you soon learn that a personal reaction is really everything, and while I warm to the approach from classical musicians one moment, I can equally fall under the spell of jazz performers the next moment, though anyone who has heard the ensemble, Astoria, will think they have come as close to the composer as you can get. Here we can admire the nimble and silky smooth playing of Liarmakopoulos, a member of the legendary Canadian Brass and last year appointed principal trombonist of the Greek Radio Symphony. Sitting firmly on the fence, I will have to commend his playing and suggest you sample track 4, Soledad, where he is joined by the bandoneon, piano and double bass, and you will have at least heard my favourite part of the disc. Recorded at America’s Yale University last year, the engineers have created a nice smoky nightclub ambiance.

Brian Wilson Download Roundup
MusicWeb International, May 2011

Piazzolla’s music appears in a variety of arrangements, but this is claimed as the first recording with a trombone as the constant element. I don’t recall having encountered the young Greek trombonist Achille Liarmakopoulos before, but he’s a fine exponent of the music, in combination with a variety of other instruments. You probably already know if you like Piazzolla’s music—and it’s very hard to dislike. If you don’t, this is as good a way as any to get to know it…

Because this is, for the moment at least, download only, there is no booklet, but you’ll find a tab which leads you to ‘about the music’.

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