All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

7

Hristo Vitchev: Of Light and Shadows

Phillip Woolever By

Sign in to view read count
Vitchev's latest effort is another jewel in his growing catalogue of widespread genres. Given Vitchev's warmly ambitious range of projects, he may soon be able to center his own multi-themed festival.

This presents his current, contemporary style quartet in an impressive showcase. The SF bay area group's core has played together in various ensembles for years, and their cohesive evolution is demonstrated throughout. Vitchev gives his band mates plenty of room to groove from the opening track on, they respond with crisp cascading chords.

When Vitchev does step out his quick, clean leads hold up respectably while drawing inevitable comparisons with heavy hitters like John Scofield or Pat Metheny. The title track would fit in well amidst Metheny's American Garage. Nothing new under the sun? Maybe not, but there is plenty of positive light and energy here.

In line with Vitchev's discography, much of the album is piano driven, "Selective Absorption" a case in point alongside "The Shortest Wavelength," on which longtime collaborating bassist Dan Robbins' nicely stretched solo strings glide precisely over Mike Shannon's ample sticks.

Vitchev remains relatively subdued for nearly half that 12-minute exercise, with relative newcomer (2 years), Brazilian pianist Jasnam Daya Singh and Robbins blasting off again until Vitchev returns with swiftly spiraling echoes of multi-fingered mastery as the band comes back to a singular, closing stretch of keys.

On "Pentachromatic Butterflies" heavy bass paves the way for a deep journey illuminated by staccato bursts that will probably become a live treat.

"A Portrait of a Love Forgotten" and the gentle "At your Side" further highlight exceptional chemistry between Vitchev and Daya Singh that brings out the best in both. Some very smooth ballads done just right, with the rhythm section tight, on creative patterns.

Whether or not it's actually the strongest track, funky flurries on "Partial Darkness," including some nice closing riffs, end the album with a bang.

Vitchev wrote all the songs, and it figures there were valuable contributions from the rest of the group. Production and sound quality were excellent when experienced on two different systems.

Another plus is the length of the album, at a value-packed total length around 74:37. None of that time is wasted and much of it, like a real jewel, is to treasure.

Turn it up. There could be a new guitar hero in jazz town.

Track Listing: Of Light and Shadows; The Shortest Wavelength; Selective Absorption, At Your Side; Prelude to Prismic Dance; Prismic Dance; Pentachromatic Butterflies; A Portrait of a Love Forgotten; Partial Darkness

Personnel: Hristo Vitchev, guitar: Jasnam Daya Singh, piano; Dan Robbins, bass; Mike Shannon, drums.

Title: Of Light and Shadows | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: First Orbit Sounds

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

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

Jazz Journal
CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
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

Related Articles

Read World Domination Vol 1: Furie CD/LP/Track Review
World Domination Vol 1: Furie
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review
20
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 20, 2018
Read Frank Salis CD/LP/Track Review
Frank Salis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2018
Read Live! CD/LP/Track Review
Live!
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 19, 2018
Read My Favorite Things(1960-1969) CD/LP/Track Review
My Favorite Things(1960-1969)
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 19, 2018
Read The Acadian Orogeny CD/LP/Track Review
The Acadian Orogeny
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 19, 2018
Read "Whatever Possessed Me" CD/LP/Track Review Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "50" CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Magnetic" CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "The Way of It" CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Rhubarb" CD/LP/Track Review Rhubarb
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 14, 2018
Read "Roppongi" CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018