Karparov & Brunn
ACOUSTIC GUITAR - 2011 issue 5 Sept./Oct.
Karparov & Brunn – “East Side Story” (ITM)
The exclusive teamwork between a guitar and a saxophone: The present duo disc recorded in Berlin by the string artist Andreas Brunn and the saxophone master Vladimir Karparov from Sofia is a clever and geographically unorthodox addition to the relatively thin field.
Karparov and Brunn effectively meet and move away in “Gankino Horo” with refined parallels of thirds and inventive divisions into solo and accompaniment functions, in “Sofia” they also play the balls percussively and with a wink of the eye, admit themselves in another Bulgarian traditional called Devóiko Mári Húbava ‘then more lyrical chamber mood. Karparov scores in his arabesques with a seemingly endless breath, Brunn can expand the sound spectrum from the light-handed transparency of the upper register to the lower regions with the seventh string of his guitar.
Skillful, not degenerate into arbitrariness, the eclecticism pervades the disc: The German-Bulgarian double manages the balancing act between Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird Suite” and Brunn’s own bluesy and impulsive composition “Two Faces”, then almost a little in the mischievous crook “Gangstas Grave” Flashing bebop radio play. Biggest surprise, however, how McLaughlin’s extravagant “Guardian Angel” finally dissolves … into the pure beauty of Bach, “Jesus, my joy”. – Stefan Franzen
Jazz podium January 2011
Vladimir Karparov & Andreas Brunn – East Side Story itm 14129
“… Andreas Brunn, known for his play in For Free Rands (CD“ Transversal ”), has found a duo partner with the Bulgarian saxophonist Vladimir Karparov, who is the guitarist’s previous efforts for more brotherhood between Western Europe and the Balkans with a delightful and mentally engaging dialogue The crowning glory is the lack of boundaries. You have to listen deeply to the ten-piece dialogue, which is not an East, not a West Side story, but both. In this respect, the song title “East Side Story” is only one half of the range of a thoroughly successful partnership.
Bird’s “Yardbird Suite” is a showpiece for both, but especially Andreas’ excellent seven-string heavy work. “Lyasata” – guitar all Occident, soprano sax Orient-, as a silent parable, starts with the careful approach and ends in the exuberant power play, as it were, of two earthly siblings. “Two faces” is all jazz again, “Devóiko Mária Húbava” instead a melancholy balance on the interface between Europe and the Middle East.
Programming: perfect. What Brunn brings out of his Sevenstring is, as in the bi-ethno fantasy “Sofia”, breathtaking and extremely versatile, and Karparov, the Bulgarian folklorist and academically sound jazz citizen of the world, actually breaks the last boundaries. One is the other’s alter ego here. There’s nothing better for a duo. … “ – Alexander Schmitz
Improvised on folklore themes to your heart’s content
Enthusiastic: Andreas Brunn and Vladimir Karparov presented a brilliant mixture of jazz and Balkan music. The “bridge”, the event room of the Verdi Institute for Media and Art, was packed to the brim.
The saxophonist Vladimir Karparov learned jazz in Bulgaria from scratch and now has just that groove with which he can develop the sometimes friendly free scales from the school of Charlie Parker and other bebopers.
Furthermore, he has also dealt extensively with the folklore of his home country. He also plays the soprano saxophone with such a soft reed that this instrument approaches this oboe-like sound, which is so typical for the entire Balkans, very convincingly. Ornaments do the rest.
Brunn supports this sound; by using his seven-string guitar like a cajon as a percussion instrument. The seventh string is a real asset for his playing, in which he knows how to mix striking and picking techniques so brilliantly in a virtuoso form that the listener can hear the full sound of bass lines and chord voicings. And when Brunn wants to step out as a soloist, Karparov takes up the tenor saxophone and underlines the lines of his musical friend with grooving bass lines. The evening was a great jazz experience!
Free press Chemnitz
“Karparov & Brunn opens Chemnitz Jazz Festival”
Chemnitz. The guitarist Brunn and the saxophonist Karparov are particularly impressed by the folkloric traditions of the Balkans. And they could be heard. Andreas Brunn is convinced “You don’t always have to look to New York when it comes to jazz. We want to combine Europe’s rich musical treasures with jazz.”
Succeeds excellently. With an irrepressible joy of discovery, the two Berliners, who also appear in several other formations, devote themselves in particular to Bulgarian folk songs and the unusual Bulgarian meters, which they also use in their own compositions. Dramatically as in “Gangsta’s Grave” or enchantingly gentle as in “Turkish Song”, the two alternate in playful images without losing sight of the melody.
With his specially built seven-string guitar, Brunn can also take on bass parts on which Karparov takes long walks, and vice versa, the saxophone gives the guitar a rhythmic hold for rapid runs. Although they are obviously very “rational” players, they also convince in emotional ballads, sometimes throwing almost sentimental warm tones to each other; but are not too good for a cheeky final chord either.