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Plamen Petrov : Déjà vu – Six Jazz Pieces for solo guitar : Bergmann

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Plamen Petrov

Bergmann Edition: 30 pages

Plamen Petrov, born in Sofia in 1971 is a new name to me, but judging by his back catalogue of works and performances, he really shouldn’t be. Writing as he does for classical guitar, but playing also jazz, and many other styles too, means that this latest volume is full of the jazz world sound, but played on the classical guitar.

One of my very favourite books of all time is a jazz set of arrangements of popular works called Jazz Standard for Classical guitar by one Shigeo Okuda, which actually follow the same pattern as this latest book, in that the theme is stated as if played by a trio, and then there is a section marked solo,(which of course it all is )where the theme is a written improvisation , after which the ‘trio’ return with the theme as originally played at the beginning. That is the format here in these very elaborate jazz pieces, all of which are original works by Petrov. Now, on a good day I can often cope with the wonderful Shigeo Okuda arrangements in that fabulous book, but this latest book of Petrov’s is in another technical league entirely. Firstly the harmonies are extremely complex and the number of keys that one goes through even in the first statement of the opening melodies can be quite a few, and playing that results in sometimes coming to a complete stop! That is not a criticism you understand, but they really are some of the most complex pieces I have ever seen on paper.

That said they really are very musical, inventive, and beautifully harmonized , and as long as you have a wonderful technique, and a penchant for jazz styled pieces, then this groundbreaking book should be in your library!

Chris Dumigan

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