Errol Rackipov and distant dreams

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Photo: Ani Petrova, BNR

30 years ago a young vibraphonist dreamt of the Berklee College of Music and the school of Gary Burton. A few days ago he discovered the same vibraphone in the same studio of the BNR, where he recorded his demo for Berklee at the time. This time he brought with him another of his albums, with words of dedication written on the cover by this same Gary Burton. Does this mean that Errol has made his dreams come true?

The answers are not simple, just like the names of his compositions and also – of his inspirations. A song, sung by Erol’s mother turns into the main character of a documentary (Whose Is That Song? of Adela Peeva). We rediscover it as Bosphorus in the album. The story of the hungry little Roma guys and their parents, dreaming of an oven where they can bake a griddle-cake comes to life in a colorful instrumental fuzz in The Dream of the Little Gypsy. The first teacher of Errol – Dobri Paliev hasn’t been forgotten either. The Todora traditional song is dedicated to him.









Alongside Errol we see two other jazzmen – bass player Pepi Slavov and Lyubomir Gospodinov – a tenor and soprano sax. The other part of the band consists of Cuban musicians – migrants to Miami, where Errol lives and teaches in several universities. Martin Bejerano is a pianist with whom Errol has already been recording; he has also selected drummer Ludwig Afonso and alt-saxophone player David Leon. Errol had his concerns about the eventual ‘stepping over’ of Ban folklore’s uneven beats with Cuban rhythms, but even the initial recording made those worries disappear – the so needed balance of the classical jazz-piano trio was a fact. Still, it provided maximum freedom to the soloing vibraphone, marimba and saxophones.

The American critics were unanimous – the band would continue to cast its spell through time. Travis Rogers Jr. commented as follows: “This is a group to be enjoyed for years and years. The right personalities and skill-sets and talents have coalesced into one of the finest debut albums of recent memory.”

Then the accidental meeting of Errol with one of the most universal jazzmen of Bulgaria – Theodosii Spasov /shepherd’s flute/ at the entrance of the BNR resulted into their spontaneous improvisation, named Knock on Wood. The two generously devoted it to the 5th anniversary of the BNR’s multimedia platform – Radio Binar. And here it is for you:


English version: Zhivko Stanchev​ 


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