The music is rembetica … the old style Greek folk music from the days when they smoked narghiles in the coffee houses, and were the hippies of their time. Their music was about the ecstasy and treachery of love, what they smoked, how they lived, their oppression at the hands of the police, and the mysteries of the universe. The old musicians were outlaws who lived for their music, and the ones tonight are not much different.
      It is a music so out of time, so pure and purely Greek, and yet so much mingled with the wail of the Mideast, that it tears at the soul and sends out the scent of a different world that calls for adventure, sadness, great joy, and astounding sex.
      We are under the stars at a restaurant near the sea, and tonight is rembetica night in the tiny village of Christos. There are a hundred of us at the long tables that have been brought in and jammed together on the patio for this event.
      The bouzouki player looks like Elvis gone to seed, but he sings and plays in the old style, with sounds from the east, and improvised riffs that are pure Charlie Parker in their intensity, style, and freedom. 
      The band tunes up, striking experimental riffs up and down the necks of their instruments until, with a nod from Elvis, the slick haired bouzouki player, they suddenly tear into a tune so driven that a fat little baby boy, no more than a year and a half old, stands up and begins rocking in perfect time. His hands move up from his sides, and he begins to stir the air with them. 
      Halfway through the second tune, the waiter arrives with a liter of local red wine, baked cheese, tzatziki, grilled eggplant, salad topped with a huge slab of feta, and a plate of roasted wild goat. We are so far back in time, that seated with us is our friend, Athena, and a couple of tables away there’s a Ulysses, two Platos, an Aphrodite, and a Helen. I’m surprised there isn’t a Dionysius sitting next to us. This was the island of his birth, and the place where wine was invented. It’s his kind of party.

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