Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Plamen Karadonev: Crossing Lines

123

Plamen Karadonev: Crossing Lines

By

Sign in to view read count
Plamen Karadonev: Crossing Lines
Plamen Karadonev is a multifaceted artist who began playing accordion when he was five, in his native Bulgaria. At first he was interested in Bulgarian folk music, but expanded his horizons to play the piano, listen to jazz and meld it with his native folk music when he was in his teens. A scholarship to Berklee took him to the United States, where he began playing with several jazz musicians. The experience honed his skills as a pianist, evidence of which is rife on this recording.

Karadonev's compositions have appealing character. He takes folk forms and classical strains and weaves them seamlessly with jazz harmonies. He show this right off on the aptly named "Crossing Lines," a tune with several strands that dangle loosely at the outset. Karadonev and Hal Crook (trom-o-tizer) trade lines until the former gets down to an introspective reading of the theme. Karadonev then goes deeper into the grove, pulling out the melody and letting it ripple in the river of his notes. Drummer Lee Fish and bassist Kendall Eddy change the harmony to bop, and the music becomes filtered through this prism, with Karadonev showing a traipsing right hand and a firm left that stamps the chords. Having circumvented the theme in his initial explorations, Crook comes in to find the dangling cord. The lines that have crisscrossed now form a perfect circle.

"Like Sonny" is a solid piece of work, with tenor saxophonist George Grazone moving to the crux—bending the notes, letting tiny slivers fly loose, getting robust and brawny before he begins to swing. He has it all, a tensile player who brings edge and finesse to his role. Karadonev is energetic and melodic, and as is his wont, keeps it all pegged down with emphatic chord structures.

"Rondo a la Bulger" has a bright ambience. Karadonev lets the enticing melody billow before he pulls the beat in, and lets the nuances surface. Karadonev's focus never falters as he reinvents pulse and rhythm and draws unwavering attention in his approach to the piano, for which he gives plenty of cause throughout Crossing Lines.

Track Listing

Crossing Lines; Night And Day; Rondo ala Bulgar; Like Sonny; Sianie; Frohleher Landman; Prelude in F; You Must Believe in Spring; The Island.

Personnel

George Garzone: saxophone (4, 5, 6); Hal Crook: trombone, trom-o-tizer (1, 6); Elena Koleva: vocals (5, 8, 9); Plamen Karadonev: piano, keyboards, accordion; Kendall Eddy: bass; Austin McMahon: drums (2-5, 7-9); Lee Fish: drums (1, 6).

Album information

Title: Crossing Lines | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Mu Records

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Being
Chris Rottmayer
Town of Two Faces
The Choir Invisible with Charlotte Greve, Vinnie...
They Tried to Kill Me Yesterday
Paul R. Harding / Michael Bisio / Juma Sultan
Eagle's Point
Chris Potter

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.