Zhivko Vasilev, Places

Written by | New Releases Page

“Places” is the latest album from one of the most successful kaval players in Bulgaria, Zhivko Vasilev. Consisting of 11 original compositions, all penned by Vasilev, the music takes the listener on a journey through the Balkans, the Orient and then to the American jazz that tastefully blends with the classical traditions in Europe. The combination is so skillfully mixed that it flows naturally from one style to the other, themes, inspired by Balkan folk music are developed into virtuoso improvisations with a modern jazz flavor.

As mentioned above Zhivko Vasilev is one of the most popular Bulgarian kaval players, the folk flute of Bulgaria, and s well known for his experiments with the kaval and the constant seeking for unexplored paths in music. He shows the listener that complex jazz lines can also sound convincing on the kaval. Not only does he play the jazz lines flawlessly but also adds Bulgarian ornamentation creating a new and exciting voice.

The record gathers many of the most successful musicians on the European scene. Borislav Petrov, part of one of the most successful bands in the Netherlands, Tin Men And The Telephone plays drums and percussion on half of the songs, Martin Hafizi takes over the drums for the other half. Mihail Ivanov, plays double bass / electric bass for all the songs. Alexander “Sani” Kunchev, one of the most successful musicians in Bulgaria and Europe, plays as a guest percussionist in one of the songs. The piano parts are played by Dimitar Gorchakov but one of the compositions “Transcending” the piano is played by Zhivko.


The one song with a guitar, Miroslav Ivanov takes part as a guest musician. Last but not least the string quintet consist of few of the most well known classical musicians in Bulgaria – Stoimen Peev – Violin, Orlin Tsvetanov – Violin, Viktor Mitsev – Viola, Viktor Traykov – Violoncello, Vasil Hadzhigrudev – Contrabass. All the music is recorded in a live environment by Svilen Angelov, who is a Salzburg based sound engineer. The album is mixed and mastered by Angelov at White Rooms Studio – Salzburg, Austria. The official release of the album will be in April 2021.

“Places” is the kind of journey that gives you stories as a gift. The moment when you leave a place and head for another, where you are bound to leave a part of yourself, again. The moment unexpected horizons unfold, bestowed upon you by the perfect sounds of the “kaval”. Zhivko Vasilev narrates this journey in his eleven original compositions and arrangements, all of them inspired by the essence of Beauty. “Places” has been recorded entirely live and brings a sense of closeness, transparency and purity, through an acoustic rendering It’s there, where music can take you when the eyes cannot.

Track Listing:
1. The Emigrant 7:54 | 2. It’s Raining in 7 5:27 | 3. Rotterdam Rooftop 4:43 | 4. Transcending 5:26 | 5. Triple Tension 3:43 | 6. Leprechaun’s Dream 4:16 | 7. Rachenitsa 2:37 | 8. Eight Sheep 6:22 | 9. Sunrise with Zori 2:00 | 10. eBuenek 4:19 | 11. Trite Pati 7:23

Zhivko Vasilev – Kaval, Piano (Track: 4,9) | Dimitar Gorchakov – Piano | Mihail Ivanov – Contrabass, Bass Guitar | Borislav Petrov – Drums (Tracks: 6,8,10,11) | Martin Hafizi – Drums, Percussion (Tracks: 1,2,3,4,5) | Alexander “Sani” Kunchev – Percussion (Track 10) | Lukas Pamminger – Bass Guitar (Track 7) | Stoil Ivanov – Drums (Track 7) | Borislav Iliev – Guitar (Track 7) | Miroslav Ivanov – Guitar (Track 11) | Stoimen Peev – 1st Violin (Tracks: 2,3,6,9) | Orlin Tsvetanov – 2nd Violin (Tracks: 2,3,6,9) | Viktor Mitsev – Viola (Tracks 2,3,6,9) | Viktor Traykov – Violoncello (Tracks: 2,3,6,8,9) | Vasil Hadzhigrudev – Contrabass (Tracks: 3,9)

Release Date: 26 April 2021
Format: CD | Digital
Label: Self Release

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Last modified: August 31, 2022