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soulpope

Milcho Leviev (1937 - 2019)

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R.I.P.

A great player - I almost saw him in 1972 when the Bulgarian Jazz Quartet Focus '65 was supposed to play in Frankfurt as opener for Herbie Mann - but they were denied visa by their regime. A few years later he travelled to California to join the Don Ellis Orchestra and stayed in Frankfurt for a few weeks, making some amazing recordings with the Jazzensemble of the local radio. And he dropped a number of Bulgarian folklore records at the radio station, among them the original of what was to become "Bulgarian Bulge" on "The New Don Ellis Band Goes Underground" - Leviev had sent a copy to Ellis, too, and was invited to join. Another perfect match.

Edited by mikeweil

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His absolute Highlife on each Art Pepper set was his funky piano solo on the mega-Long track "Make a list, make a wish", that´s were he really cooked. And on the bossa "Your´s my heart only" . 

On faster swing tunes he has his own style, Maybe not exactly in the swing Idiom like it might be supposed in the jazz genre, but he does it well. Only some Drummers had difficulties playing with him, once I heard Al Foster didn´t like to Play with him. 

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Saw him with Don Ellis in the 70s. Haven't heard/seen him in years, though.

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RIP - an idiosyncratic style for sure. He is interviewed on that Don Ellis DVD ‘Electric Heart’ about the Ellis years.  

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3 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

On faster swing tunes he has his own style, Maybe not exactly in the swing Idiom like it might be supposed in the jazz genre, but he does it well. Only some Drummers had difficulties playing with him, once I heard Al Foster didn´t like to Play with him. 

I once bought his duo album with Dave Holand, but his playing on the bebop tunes didn't touch me. His rhythmic phrasing was not your prototypical modern bop style, more influenced by his classical training and the sophisticated Bulgarian rhythms.

R-7846539-1450042163-4612.png.jpg

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This hurts...

Saw him with Art Pepper's quartet at the Palace hall in Paris back in 1980. Magnificient concert. Spinning the AP Ronnie Scott box in remembrance...

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1 hour ago, brownie said:

Spinning the AP Ronnie Scott box in remembrance...

Treasure trove ....

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Sad news. Hadn't thought about him in years. Saw him with Art Pepper in 1980 at Sandy's in Beverly, MA. I liked the two records he made for Mole Jazz with Art that were issued under Milcho's name. 

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3 hours ago, Stereojack said:

Sad news. Hadn't thought about him in years. Saw him with Art Pepper in 1980 at Sandy's in Beverly, MA. I liked the two records he made for Mole Jazz with Art that were issued under Milcho's name. 

This features all tracks available from this one week stint .... :

vol-6-complete-live-at-ronnie-scott-lond

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I enjoy his playing on his collection of Irving Berlin songs, Easter Parade, as well as the Jack Sheldon session for Atlas.  Thank you for the music, Mr. Leviev, and rest in peace.

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