Story by Brad Walseth, Photos by John Broughton, Jr.
Inventive guitar duo Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic performed at the Jazz Showcase Wednesday January 27 in support of their excellent new album Guitar Duo. The duo played selections from that album, along with other originals - including some new and as-of-yet untitled ones, Chick Corea's "Spain," Egberto Gismonti's "Frevo," some Ennio Morricone compositions, a Piazzolla tango, Macaedonian folk tune and the traditional Greek folk song "Dance of the Black Sea District."
During their two sets, Kapsalis often handled the lead melody, while Ivanovic provided harmony and counter melodies with his two-handed tap technique. If that isn't enough, he also provides rhythmic support tapping on the sides of his guitar – providing the illusion of a percussionist onstage. Both are exceptional players who have been playing together for four years as a side project to their regular gigs (Ivanonic leads the band Eastern Blok, while Kapsaslis has his Andreas Kapsalis Trio and is a member of the Metzitza Quartet. The talented guitarists merge Greek and Balkan influences with South American, jazz and classical influences and strive for a “cinematic” result.
Some of the songs from their album included "Vertigo," "Turriptopsis Nutricula" (the jellyfish which never dies), "Arrhythmia," "Migration of the Solstice" and "Shadow Thief.' All of these extremely difficult pieces were played very well - and it is clear they have spent considerable time working the intricacies of these songs out in fine detail. Of course, the crowd-pleasing "Samba in 10" was another highlight, and the two also performed solo pieces. Ivanovic tended to more classical directions, while Kapsalis offered his fun version of Pink Floyd's "Money." The new pieces - one about "superheroes" and the other about their love of "karate" movies, both indicate that the future is bright for this guitar duo.