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It’s astonishing this band even existed given the period’s chilly Cold War atmosphere and dearth of jazz in their native Bulgaria; even more incredible that they were not only popular in Western Europe – they were good. By 1967 the quartet was playing festivals and concerts throughout the continent. In 1968 they won the international critic’s prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The French newspaper The New Observer remarked that the band had “…the furor of Albert Ayler, the storm of Elvin Jones, and the daring of Cecil Taylor.” The Geneva Tribune marveled at their “expressiveness and virtuosity”. The players were classically trained, and there is an element of ‘chamber jazz’ in their music. Blues In Ten reflects the quartet’s Bulgarian folk roots, while Monday Morning has a balladic feel with smoking flute and piano solos. The Beatle’s Yesterday begins as a march before skyrocketing up-tempo. Only at the end is there a hint of the melody. The four dis-and-re-assemble the melody and form of Parker’s classic blues, Billie’s Bounce, and Autumn Sun straddles structure and freedom. Changing tempos from breakneck to medium swing, Blues In Twelve is a virtuoso tour de force. Beautifully rearranged for quartet, the brief Badinerie is the final movement of Bach’s Suite in B minor for Flute and Orchestra. A unique quartet whose music continually surprises!