51

Hristo Vitchev / Weber Iago: Heartmony

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Surprisingly few piano and guitar duos have been recorded in the jazz genre. Perhaps it is that the instruments work together best when the music is highly nuanced and, frankly, nuance can be boring. Bulgarian guitarist Hristo Vitchev and Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago have managed to avoid the abyss of ennui very nicely on Heartmony, a collection of original pieces that are both urbane and appealing.

The two opening ballads, "Under Trees of Color, Over Fields of Grey" and "Musica Humana," combine chamber jazz expressionism and harmonic invention. Vitchev works in both electric and acoustic mode, creating different sonic characteristics with fluidity and intricacy. Iago's classical influences are sometimes flickering, sometimes intense. He creates a pastoral setting that evokes Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring. Both Vitchev and Weber play as extensions of each other, individually and collectively guiding each piece with increasing but subtle complexity.

"Crepuscular Rays" is anchored with acoustic guitar while Iago plays multifaceted improvisations. The duo trade the lead before Iago wraps up the piece with some overdubbed wordless vocalizing. "The Farewell" is a three-part suite that begins with the slow, stately "Prelude to an Act of Departure," which segues into the melancholy "The Imperative Expression." The third part, "And May We Meet Again," is the collection's most upbeat piece. Here, Hristo uses his acoustic guitar as a percussion instrument while Igor demonstrates his ability to play with speed and dexterity without sacrificing lyricism.

Vitchev and Weber, having played together in larger groups, have clearly developed an ease in playing sophisticated and appealing music that is far more complex than it first appears. They skillfully suppress and build momentum within rich, shadowy twists of their main theme. As structured as Heartmony is, it is necessarily structured to keep a proper balance between the technical and the expressive. Nevertheless, these are compositions in which improvisation is as prevalent as the profound musical and harmonic insights.

Track Listing: Under Trees Of Color, Over Fields Of Grey; Musica Humana; Memories In Black And White; The Last Leaves Which Fell In Fall; Prelude To The Crepuscular Rays; Crepuscular Rays; Preulde To An Act Of Departure; The Imperative Expression; And May We Meet Again; Prelude To A Melancholic Heart; The Melancholic Heart.

Personnel: Hristo Vitchev: guitar; Weber Iago: piano.

Title: Heartmony | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: First Orbit Sounds

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

In Search of Wonders

In Search of Wonders

Hristo Vitchev
In Search of Wonders

The Acropolis

The Acropolis

Hristo Vitchev
The Perperikon Suite

Musica Humana

Musica Humana

Hristo Vitchev
Heartmony

Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow

Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow

Hristo Vitchev
Familiar Fields

Live Reviews
Jazz Journal
Album Reviews
Catching Up With
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Of Light and Shadows

Of Light and Shadows

First Orbit Sounds
2018

buy
In Search of Wonders

In Search of Wonders

First Orbit Sounds
2016

buy
Hristo Vitchev Quartet: Familiar Fields

Hristo Vitchev...

First Orbit Sounds
2013

buy
Familiar Fields

Familiar Fields

First Orbit Sounds
2013

buy
Rhodopa

Rhodopa

First Orbit Sounds
2013

buy
Rhodopa

Rhodopa

First Orbit Sounds
2012

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Aug22Thu
Hristo Vitchev Quartet
Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Santa Cruz, CA
$21.00

Related Articles

Read New York Trio Album Reviews
New York Trio
By Troy Dostert
July 18, 2019
Read Invincible Nimbus Album Reviews
Invincible Nimbus
By Jerome Wilson
July 18, 2019
Read Syzygy Album Reviews
Syzygy
By Don Phipps
July 18, 2019
Read Visions Album Reviews
Visions
By Friedrich Kunzmann
July 18, 2019
Read Shafted Album Reviews
Shafted
By Edward Blanco
July 17, 2019
Read Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club
By Don Phipps
July 17, 2019
Read New Year Album Reviews
New Year
By Dan Bilawsky
July 17, 2019