All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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 Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Live In London" CD/LP/Track Review Live In London
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Najwa" CD/LP/Track Review Najwa
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Romaria" CD/LP/Track Review Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read "Witchy Feelin'" CD/LP/Track Review Witchy Feelin'
by Doug Collette
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "After The Rain" CD/LP/Track Review After The Rain
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "The Poetry of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 16, 2018