Errol Rackipov Group: pictures from a train window

between sound and space: ECM Records and Beyond

pictures from a train window

With pictures from a train window, Bulgarian-born vibraphonist and composer Errol Rackipov debuts his eponymous group with guitarist Hristo Vitchev, reedman Lubomir Gospodinov, pianist Martin Bejerano, bassist Josh Allen, and drummer Rodolfo Zuniga. Listening to the groove laid down by the bandleader on “Mad Djore,” it won’t come as any surprise that the mallet man studied under greats Gary Burton and Ed Saindon. But there’s also an underlying sensibility that is uniquely his own, and which he expresses in his ability to keep his musicians in focus.

The ever-prolific Vitchev trades his normally outgoing smoothness for the back road, architecting his virtuosity distinctly in “Folk Dance” but for the most part content in providing tender underpinnings. Gospodinov carries the band into nostalgic territory on “Far Away From Here, A Long Time Ago,” where his sopranism reveals the art of a genuinely melodic improviser. Then there’s Allen, whose bassing draws…

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