“Musica sin fin”– first solo album by Mario Stantchev

Photo: mariostantchev.com

“I have always loved to work in different directions but this is my first solo album with “recorded” music,” Mario Stantchev says, presenting his new album “Musica sin fin”(neverending music).

Jazz pianist, composer and founder of the jazz department at the conservatoire in Lyon, Mario Stantchev was born in Sofia to a family of musicians – his Bulgarian father is a pianist and his French mother – a singer. He received a classical music education at the National School of Music and the National Academy of Music, and then worked with renowned Bulgarian jazz musicians and formations. He has been living in France since the early 1980s. On stage he has partnered up with musicians like Ron Carter, Daniel Humair, Adam Nussbaum, Riccardo Del Fra, Steve Swallow, John Scofield, Michael Brecker, André Ceccarelli, Laurent Blumenthal, Louis Sclavis, Toots Thielemans, Lionel Martin. In recent years he has had joint projects with Bulgarian musicians – Hristo Yotsov, Stoyan Yankoulov, Dimitar Karamfilov…

The album “Musica sin fin” was recorded in April 2018, and includes 12 tracks, in which there definitely is a “spirit of jazz” even though the means of expression are different.

“People have been saying to me more and more often that I am at my most authentic when I play solo,” the renowned musician says. “I am lucky to have friends who bolster my confidence so that I can believe in what I am doing and accept the fact that there are different sides to my music. People like to stick labels – if you play jazz, then it is jazz. But I work in different directions. That used to be a hindrance but that is what I am and I am holding my own. This is the first time I am playing music that has been written down. I can say that a very small part is improvisation. These are pieces that carry different moods, some I wrote not long ago, others I was commissioned to compose. A poet wrote the lyrics based on early 20th century photographs – the war years, but the words carry a touch of humour. The project was created by a famous French linguist.

Besides myself, four other pianists played pieces inspired by these photographs. They are different forms of art, music can draw inspiration instead of blindly following what is in the photographs. We recorded at a really good studio. All jazz pianists in Europe dream of working there because the grand piano is superb, and the sound engineer is practically a genius, creating an atmosphere that brings out the best in us. I had a recording schedule for the project, I completed it very quickly and then I recorded quite a few pieces I had prepared beforehand. Lionel Martin, a saxophone player who is well known in Bulgaria as well have performed together several times, made the selection of music for the album, he is the production’s music director.”

Mario Stantchev presented the music from “Musica sin fin” at concerts in Europe, some of which organized by private sponsors. The reviews were glowing. Mario Stantchev almost always includes jazz pieces, and he says the audience appreciate that. He has, of recent, been working actively with a French publishing house. A few years ago it published pieces of his, written for educational use, and he has started releasing compositions, written at different periods - for flute, piano, small and big orchestras etc.

“Of course, I still adore playing jazz, and I am still doing it,” Mario Stantchev says.

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