Hristo Vitchev / Hristo Vitchev Quartet

Song for Messambria

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Bulgaria native Hristo Vitchev studied music in Venezuela and then settled in greater San Francisco after relocating to the U.S., with this quartet session being his debut recording as a leader. The lack of detailed liner notes explaining his background, inspirations for his original compositions, and choice of musicians is a bit frustrating, but once the listener gets past all of that, Vitchev's music, which encompasses jazz, classical, and Brazilian influences, proves to be enjoyable, though hardly innovative. The easygoing numbers are suitable background music, though the melodies don't leave much of a lasting impression. A more successful strategy for a debut release would have been to include at least one or two familiar songs to give the listener a better grounding in Vitchev's abilities. Pianist Webster Iago, bassist Dan Robbins, and drummer Joe De Rose provide strong support throughout the session.

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