Jazz With A Eastern European Style

Bruce Von Stiers

Saxophone player Dimitar Liolev has won awards as a young jazz performer. He has performed with some of Eastern Europe's top jazz musicians. Dimitar was a musical director for the July Jazz Festival for a bit. And he's currently serving as a member of both the National Radio Big Band and the Brass Association Big Band.

Earlier this year Dimitar released an album of original compositions. The title of this album is Eastern Shadows.

Although it was released this year, the album was actually recorded two years ago. It was recorded at the Bluboabox Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria by Konstantin Katsarski. The mastering was done at 24Mastering Studio in Holland by Misjjah Van Der Heiden. The album has nine songs and a play time of fifty minutes. It is being released by Slam Productions in the U.K.

Helping out on the album are Martin Tashev, Massimilano Rolff and Dimitar Semov. Besides playing on albums for Koka Mass Jazz and The Golden Project, Tashey plays the trumpet and flugelhorn on this album. He also does the vocals on one of the songs. Rolff is known internationally for his bass playing, especially for his talents on the double bass. He performs on the double bass for this album. Semov is on drums and has recorded with such as Camellia Todorova. And Dimitar plays his signature alto sax on the album.

Four Talkers is the song that starts the album out. It definitely has bits and pieces from each of the musicians, with the focus on Dimitar's sax.

The second song is Day One. It is kind of a busy piece that is a little heavy at times. There is some rather good flugelhorn music in the song.

Filipopolis is a song that has the flugelhorn and sax almost dueling at the start. At times the song is fairly slow, other times pretty fast. At one point the song almost sounds Mediterranean.

New Song has a lot of strong bass and terrific sax and flugelhorn.

Still Wondering is a fast paced piece that has a somewhat classic jazz touch.

The beginning of Night Hope almost sounds like it would be the conclusion of the song. It has a slow and endearing tone to it.

Things take on a faster, toe tapping pace in At This Moment.

Fast and somewhat intense, with a duet of sax and flugelhorn is what I took away from the intro to Jazz Me. From there the song moves into a great sax solo.

The album finishes with the title track, Eastern Shadows. It has quite a mixture of sounds, with interesting drum and bass. Then there is an almost haunting, chant like vocal bit from Martin Tashev.

Eastern Shadows is definitely an interesting album. Although there are Western influences to be heard in the music, there are as many Eastern European tone to it as well.

You can learn more about Eastern Shadows and Dimitar Liolev at www.dimitarliolev.com


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© 2017 Bruce E Von Stiers