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
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
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’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.
Herald Scotland, November 2011
When you think about it, Astor Piazzolla went from being peripheral to a cult figure in quite a short time, since when the thudding rhythm and erotic throb of the tango, especially in Piazzolla’s earthy and darkly-coloured vision of the dance, has gripped the musical world and attracted musicians of every hue, from Joanna MacGregor to Mr McFall’s Chamber. To be honest, I’ve always dipped in and out of tango albums: a little of it goes a long way, and I haven’t sat right through a CD of tangos until this one. Greek trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos, who plays with Canadian Brass, is an astonishing player, a musician of extraordinary subtlety and understatement. With the sweetest, most seductive tone imaginable, he glides through the Piazzolla classics, including the full Histoire du Tango, all three movements of the beautiful Serie del Angel, Michelangelo, Oblivion and a heart-wrenching, soulful rendition of Soledad. His group, including the great bandoneon player Hector del Curto, is superlative. An outstanding disc.