Depending where you look, Yiannis Tatassopoulos is also referred to as Giannis Tatassopoulos, but these are one and the same artist!
Born in 1928, Giannis Tatasopoulos (Greek: Γιάννης Τατασόπουλος) was a Greek musician and well-known bouzouki player, soloist and composer who made it to Number 1 in the Greek Charts in the 1950’s. In 1955 Giannis Tatasopoulos and a selection of other top bouzouki soloists emigrated to the US, and it was here that he resettled and continued to compose and release his music. He recorded a handful of albums and a large collection of singles and EP’s throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s which, I do believe, also extended into the early 1970’s. His prowess on the bouzouki earned him the title of ‘master’ and this talent extended to his son Nikos, who also gained great recognition and the same title for his art on this instrument.
Today’s song is a confusing one as it was first released as a single in 1960, crediting US trumpeter, percussionist and band leader, Roger ‘King’ Mozian (who was born in New York as the son of Turkish immigrants with Armenian roots) as the main artist. Yiannis Tatassopoulos is listed as a featuring artist, yet other sources features this song on one of Tatassopoulos’s albums? I do believe, however, this was written by Roger ‘King’ Mozian, so I’ll go with this being his song – or a joint effort by the two musicians!! (This information has only come to light as I was writing this, so forgive my confused writings). Either way, this song is a beauty and Roger Mozian needs more investigating at a later date!!
Oriental Cha Cha (Mozian) celebrates a Latin Orchestra-meets-Greek bouzouki fusion and is a true hybrid musical dream, emerging and blending the sound from the migrant communities of 60’s New York. Together with Roger ‘King’ Mozian and his orchestra, these two created a whirlwind of crossover madness, incorporating Greek bouzouki with Latin beats! The result is intoxicating and exotic! Check it out above!