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7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2019

Read "7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Walter Atkins

7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2019 7 Mile House Brisbane CA May 4, 2019 Last year's inaugural 7 Mile House Jazz Festival started by 7 Mile House owner Vanessa Garcia, proved so successful, the second edition returned in an expanded format. The 7 Mile House Jazz Festival 2019 was figuratively and literally bigger this year, relocating to an open auto garage space conveniently located next door. The garage owner, and ...

JAZZ JOURNAL

Winter 2018

Read "Winter 2018" reviewed by Doug Collette

Jazz Journal is a regular column consisting of pithy takes on recent jazz releases of note as well as spotlights on those titles in the genre that might otherwise go unnoticed under the cultural radar. Mark Wade Trio Moving Day Self-Produced 2018 Often ghostly in its ambiance, the music on Moving Day is always flawless in its execution. The Mark Wade Trio are seemingly further inspired with each successive moment in which ...

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Hristo Vitchev: Of Light and Shadows

Read "Of Light and Shadows" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

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, ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Hristo Vitchev: Charting His Own Way

Read "Hristo Vitchev: Charting His Own Way" reviewed by David Becker

Hristo Vitchev isn't a typical guitar hero. Supremely fluent with his instrument, the prolific composer and performer would rather communicate than show off complex technique. His albums and concerts are full of gorgeously understated performances that leave just the right amount of room for the musicians to support each other and the audience to fill in the blanks. Maybe it was inevitable that Vitchev would take an idiosyncratic approach to jazz, given the twisted route he took to ...

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Hristo Vitchev Quartet: In Search of Wonders

Read "In Search of Wonders" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Bulgarian-born San Franciscan jazz guitarist/composer Hristo Vitchev leads an experienced quartet on this double-CD collection of attractive modern jazz. This is his seventh release as a leader, and the third with this quartet (allowing for a change in the drum chair), following Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds Music, 2013) and Song For Messsambria (First Orbit Sounds Music, 2009). His influences are eclectic, but the chamber jazz sound of tracks like the piano solo “Stay (Prelude)" and the guitar/piano duet “We ...

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Hristo Vitchev Quartet: In Search of Wonders

Read "In Search of Wonders" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Marking his seventh project as a leader, internationally-renowned impressionistic guitarist Hristo Vitchev presents In Search of Wonders, his first double album of original world-tinged modern jazz delivered in the same creatively unique style this guitarist, is known for. One thing remains the same, the music is intellectual, soul-searching, harmonically-rich and thoroughly enchanting. With a double album containing a total of fifteen new pieces, Vitchev offers plenty more of wonders to sample than he has in the past. Performing ...

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Hristo Vitchev Quartet: In Search of Wonders

Read "In Search of Wonders" reviewed by Roger Farbey

With six previous albums already to his name, guitarist Hristo Vitchev has now released a double album of his own compositions, benefitting from the inclusion of three exceptionally talented musicians constituting his quartet. Vitchev's dextrously lithe playing is evident from the start on the (initially) pastoral opener “The Transitory Nature," recalling the styles and fluidity of John Abercrombie and Bill Frisell. After a short tranquil piano-led opening statement “It May Backfire," the longest track at nearly fourteen minutes, ...

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Hristo Vitchev Quartet: In Search of Wonders

Read "In Search of Wonders" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Only in his mid-thirties, Hristo Vitchev has led or co-led eight releases; three previous albums with the core of this quartet. With each outing representing a creative and additive progression that should rightfully place him in the class of guitarist/composers that span skill sets from Jim Hall to Pat Metheny, Vitchev is overdue in finding a wider audience. More importantly, as an artist (and his quartet, as a group) has documented each collection has contributing to a style that has ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

The Acoustic and the Electric: Hristo Vitchev and Joe DeRose

Read "The Acoustic and the Electric:  Hristo Vitchev and Joe DeRose" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Bay area guitarist Hristo Vitchev is a prolific and consummate musician. Capable of both deeply introspective lyricism and electrifyingly gregarious fervor, Vitchev, nevertheless, maintains his individuality and hi, easily recognizable, impressionistic style in all of his diverse engagements. Two records released in 2013 superbly showcase his adroitness in and adaptability to various musical situations. Hristo Vitchev and Liubomir Krastev Rhodopa First Orbit Sounds 2013 Rhodopa is a series of duets with ace ...

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Hristo Vitchev and Liubomir Krastev: Rhodopa

Read "Rhodopa" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

As artists continue to explore new musical vistas, some, Ulysses-like will return home to explore their ethno-musical roots and look to gather new wine from older grapes. Such is the example of this unique and very exquisite recording. With Rhodopa, Bay Area guitarist/composer Hristo Vitchev and clarinetist Liubomir Krastev meld musical minds, dive exuberantly into an array of earthy Bulgarian folk material and come up with four hands of beauty. The result is a panoply of aural color, ...

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Hristo Vitchev / Liubomia Krastev: Rhodopa

Read "Rhodopa" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

While jazz as an art form always moves forward, it is also tied to tradition and the music of the past. Many jazz musicians with European ties have found inspiration in the folk music of their country: Jan Johansson's Jazz på svenska, Dag Arnesen's Norwegian Song 1-3 and Sunna Gunnlaugs Songs from Iceland are some of the most notable examples. Hristo Vitchev's Rhodopa could easily be added to this list. While Vitchev has moved to San Francisco ...

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Hristo Vitchev and Liubomir Krastev: Rhodopa

Read "Rhodopa" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Bulganin modern jazz guitarist Hristo Vitchev resides in the Bay Area and alternates between a variety of jazz formations. On Rhodopa, which is a mountainous region in Bulgaria (named after the character from the Greek mythology known also as Hera, sister of Zeus) he teams with clarinetist Liubomir Krastev who shares with him Bulgarian roots on a program of traditional Bulgarian melodies. Vitchev arrangements focus on the lyrical and emotional side of this folklore melody. He, ...