Jordi Savall once again enriches our view of a region teeming with history: the Balkans. Following on the success of Spirit of Armenia, Alia Vox, a label acclaimed for revealing hidden gems from the vast history of music, presents Balkan Spirit - a collection of music that sheds light on a little-known repertoire that conveys the whole spectrum of human emotions. Presented with both the iconographic richness and quality packaging that Alia Vox is famous for, this journey of musical discovery is another important milestone in the discography of Catalan master Jordi Savall and his ensemble Hesperion XXI.
The Fairy Tale Trio plays a kind of hybrid music combining elements of Bulgarian folk music and jazz. Kaval player Theodosii Spassov has developed a style that allows him more chromatic and timbral possibilities than previously associated with that instrument, while soprano saxist Anatoly Vapirov can go from tricky folk melodies to Coltrane-like wailing in the space of a few notes. The trio is rounded out by percussionist Stoyan Yankoulov, who uses mostly the traditional tupan (a double-headed drum, played with sticks) with a few modern additions. The music, composed by the trio, makes full use of their resources.
The Swan song of the French musical magician Hector Zazou is a project together with the exceptional Bulgarian voices of ‘Eva Quartet’ (part of the world famous choir ‘Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares’) with the special participation of musicians from different genres and fields of music…
Bojan Z's latest release for Label Bleu is perhaps his most satisfying work to date, showcasing his considerable compositional skills whilst allowing equal representation to the fine musicians who excel throughout. The opening track, "Ulaz, is a definite highlight. Hypnotic drums, however gentle, with brushes and washing cymbals, a heavily plucked acoustic bass pulse, and a kaval (a Balkan flute) float ethereally in the background like some ancient spirit being evoked. It is not until a minute and forty seconds later that the splash of three piano notes arrives like the first drops of rain.