7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas (Bayou Place), 713-230-1600 or www.livenation.com.
During a recent teleconference with a pool of journalists, someone asked Yanni about his newest album, Truth of Touch, and he gave one of the most rock and roll answers we will ever hear from him: "It's not the typical Yanni album. I took a lot of chances with it because I didn't care. I was just writing music that turned me on," he said, his voice jumping. Anyone who has opened their horizons to the Americanized Greek composer and pianist will find that there is more to him than meets the eye, at least more than the wise-ass pop-culture hounds would like you to know. His first band out of Minneapolis, the proggy Chameleon, featured the young moustachioed one on keyboards, touring three-fourths of the year, and amassing a dedicated following over four albums before he went solo and on to worldwide success in 1984. When asked about his sound, he defers to his Greek heritage, saying, "A lot of the rhythms that I use are not familiar to the West. I tend to have a little bit...let's call them strange rhythms." Sure, it gets hokey at times, and there's no blood or glitter onstage at a Yanni show, but you at least can be assured you are in more than capable hands, and you just might learn something.
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