Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

3

Hristo Vitchev and Liubomir Krastev: Rhodopa

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
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, on the acoustic guitar and piano, and Krastev are gifted with warm and gentle sounds and articulate nuanced playing. Both musicians opt for a meditative and slow ambiance, as on the touching, impressionistic "Lale Li Si Zyumbiul Li Si (Are You a Tulip, Are You a Hyacinth)." The interaction is peaceful and reserved, and usually Krastevs' playing colors these melodies with Balkan and East European overtones.

On most of the melodies there is no attempt to blend the asymmetric rhythms of the Balkan into modern jazz harmonies in a more upbeat manner as other musicians did successfully—clarinet players Matt Darriau (with his Paradox Trio or Chris Speed (with his quartet Pachora), both with guitarist Brad Shepik. All of the pieces, including the original "Silent Prayer" by Vitchev, explore the emotional core with minimal variations. Only Vitchev original "Blues for Clever Peter," the brief "Improvisation #2" and "Polegnala e Todora (Todora Took a Nap)" begin to hint about how a more playful and festive mode of traditional Bulgarian music would have sound in these capable hands. But even on these pieces the duo still prefers to keep the reserved and lyrical mode of interplay.

Impressive on its emotional and lyrical side. Still, more edgy playing would have balanced this duo.

Track Listing: Devoiko Mart Hubava (Beautiful Young Lady); Oblache Le Bialo (Little White Cloud); Silent Prayer; Improvasation #1; Blues for Clever Peter; Lale Li Si Zyumbiul Li Si (Are You a Tulip, Are You a Hyacinth); Improvisation #2; Polegnala e Todora (Todora Took a Nap); Hubava Si Moia Goro (You Are Beautiful My Forest).

Personnel: Hristo Vitchev: guitar, piano; Liubomir Krastev: clarinet.

Title: Rhodopa | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: First Orbit Sounds


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Secret Language" CD/LP/Track Review Secret Language
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Double Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Double Mirror
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "Zea" CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "From the Nocturnal Chironian" CD/LP/Track Review From the Nocturnal Chironian
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Little Giant Still Life" CD/LP/Track Review Little Giant Still Life
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 15, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!