Milcho Lewiew

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Milcho Issakov Leviev ( Bulgarian Милчо Левиев ; mostly Milcho Leviev ; born December 19, 1937 in Plovdiv , Bulgaria ; † October 12, 2019 ) was an American jazz pianist , composer and arranger of Bulgarian origin.

Live and act

Lewiew came from a Jewish family, his brother Yoan was a well-known artist in Plovdiv . He studied music at the National Music Academy “Prof. Pantscho Wladigerow “ Composition under Professor Pancho Vladigerov and piano under Professor Andrei Stoyanov graduated in 1960. He began his professional career as a composer at the theater in Plovdiv. He also led the Big Band of the Bulgarian Radio from 1962 to 1966, succeeding Emil Georgiev . His innovative ideas for pieces like Studia , Blues in 9 or Anti-waltz were seen as a successful synthesis of Bulgarian folklore and jazz. From 1963 to 1968 he worked as a soloist and leader of the Sofia symphony orchestras (and in that of Plovdiv). In 1965 he founded the formation Jazz Focus '65 with Simeon Shterev , with whom he toured until 1970 and performed at international jazz festivals in Montreux , Prague and Sofia.

In 1970 Leviev left Bulgaria for political reasons; For a short time he lived in the Federal Republic of Germany, where he a. a. worked with the jazz ensemble of the Hessischer Rundfunk and with the folk duo Colin Wilkie & Shirley Hart . He then emigrated to the USA, where he initially worked as a composer, arranger and pianist with Don Ellis (1971–1976) and implemented the complex Balkan rhythms for big bands . He also worked for Billy Cobham (1974-77). Lewiew, who became an American citizen in 1977, was also the musical director of Lainie Kazan (1977–80), playing with John Klemmer , Art Pepper , Roy Haynes , L. Subramaniam , João Gilberto , Al Jarreau and Carmen McRae . With Art Pepper he recorded a few albums between 1980 and 1983 and toured Europe with him. At the same time he led the formation Free Flight with the classic flautist Jim Walker , which he left in 1984. After 1983 he was musical director of the Jazz Sessions at the Comeback Inn in Venice, California. He gave concerts with Dave Holland in Japan (1983-86) and played as a piano soloist in Europe (1985-86). Lewiew taught jazz composition at the University of Southern California. He taught master classes at the University of Sofia.

Lewiew composed several symphonic and chamber music works as well as music for big band . In the 1960s in particular, he also wrote film music.

Selection discography

  • Jazz Focus '65 ( MPS 1969, with Simeon Shterev, Lubomir Mitrov, Peter Slavov)
  • Don Ellis: Tears of Joy ( Columbia 1971)
  • Don Ellis: New Rhythms (EME 1972)
  • Milcho Leviev Trio What's New (Atlas 1980, with Ray Brown , Peter Erskine )
  • Blues for the Fisherman ( Mole Jazz 1980, with Art Pepper, Tony Dumas , Carl Burnett )
  • Music for Big Band and Symphony Orchestra (Philippopolis Records 1981)
  • Free Flight: The Jazz / Classic Union ( Palo Alto 1982)
  • Lingua Franca: Common Language (Belladonna, 1985, with Dušan Bogdanović , Alexei Zubov)
  • Milcho Leviev & Charlie Haden : First Meeting (Pan Music, 1986)
  • Milcho Leviev / Theodosii Spassov Trio Gourbet Mohabet (Live) 1990
  • Bulgarian Piano Blues (MA 1990)
  • Jazz ensemble of the Hessischer Rundfunk: Atmosphering Condition Permitting (ECM 1967-93)
  • Milcho Leviev & Dave Holland Up & Down (MA 1993)
  • Multiple Personalities (Milcho Leviev Plays the Music of Don Ellis) (Mighty Quinn, 2006)
  • Quiet March (Perfect Records 2015)

Filmography (selection)

  • 1965: Hot Midday ( Горещо пладне )
  • 1967: The Detour ( Отклонение )
  • 1968: Dangerous flight ( Опасен полет )
  • 1968: Secrets ( Малки тайни )
  • 1969: The altar wall ( Иконостасът )
  • 2001: Letter to America ( Писмо до Америка )


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary in Sofia Globe , October 13, 2019
  2. The repertoire of Jazz Focus '65 included the titles Blues in 10 and Blues in 12 , as well as an arrangement by Paul McCartney's Yesterday.
  3. Free Flight at Allmusic (English)
  4. The following year, True Blues appeared with the same line-up ; Later, the live recordings of these concerts with 17 other titles were published under the name of Art Pepper as Unreleased Art Vol. VI: Blues for the Fisherman .
  5. Lewiew contributed to the title Manipulation with Emil and Albert Mangelsdorff , Heinz Sauer , Christof Lauer a . a., recorded February 5, 1992