14

Tania Stavreva: Rhythmic Movement

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist and New York City resident Tania Stavreva is a cross-genre trailblazer in the vein of a Stefano Battaglia. More than being at home in both classical and jazz, the Bulgarian native has found an approach that—when desired—connects elements of each form and adds her own methods, resulting in a unique hybrid. The twenty-something artist has appeared with Ron Carter and played top international venues from Lincoln Center to Italy's Cathedral San Lorenzo. Rhythmic Movement is her debt as a solo performer and is being released on her own label.

The Ron Saint Germain produced album features fourteen compositions from an eclectic range of composers and two from Stavreva herself. Opening with the title track, Stavreva's original composition was written for an off-off Broadway production of The Tempest, in which she had an acting part as well. Unlike the original version, Stavreva rearranges the piece in a time signature for dance. A traditional Bulgarian folk tune, "Ratchenitza" is bookended on the outside by "Mouvement Rythmique" which translates to the album's title as well, though an entirely different piece. Its uneven rhythm is also commonplace in Bulgarian dance music.

Three works from Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera create a slow dramatic build to the albums mid-point. "Danza del Viejo Boyero," "Danza de la Moza Donosa" and "Danza del Gaucho" are each part of a cycle known as "Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2." Those familiar with Egberto Gismonti's Danca Das Cabecas (ECM, 1977) may find some conceptual similarity in the nature of the material. "Ruvido ed Ostinato" picks up the previously generated energy setting the stage for the more avant-garde works of Russian composer Nikolai Kapustin. "Jazz Concert Etude Prelude" and "Jazz Concert Etude Toccatina" play directly into Stavreva's strength in merging genres. Stavreva's own composition "The Dark Side of the Sun" is more ominous and includes her extended technique of working the strings inside the piano.

"White Lies for Lomax"—a tribute to ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax—was first recorded as a solo by Stavreva on Mason Bates' Stereo Is King (Innova Recordings, 2014). She then returns to the Bulgarian tradition with a series of variations on the folk song "Dilmano, Dilbero" wrapping up the album with "Ritmico y Distorsionado," a variation of "Ruvido ed Ostinato" but added percussion and some distortion.

Musically, Stavreva is already an accomplished artist with a no-holds-barred attitude toward her music and her independent approach. Rhythmic Movement is a bold project that asserts the role of folk and dance at the center of modern creative music. Stavreva's interpretations stretch the original concepts and play spirals around them, respecting their heredity without being subject to the same.

Track Listing: Rhythmic Movement; Ratchenitza; Mouvement Rythmique; Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2: Danza del Viejo Boyero; Danza de la Moza Donosa; Danza del Gaucho; Ruvido ed Ostinato; Jazz Concert Etude Prelude; Jazz Concert Etude Toccatina; The Dark Side of the Sun; White Lies for Lomax; Dilmano, Dilbero; Dilmano, Dilbero, Variations on a Bulgarian Folk Song; Ritmico y Distorsionado.

Personnel: Tania Stavreva: piano; Will Calhoun: drums (14).

Title: Rhythmic Movement | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "50" CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by John Sharpe
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Real Feels - Live Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Real Feels - Live Vol. 1
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "The Busker" CD/LP/Track Review The Busker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 30, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.