Social Restaurant and Bar, Newton, MA
February 14, 2016
I didn’t take any notes at the club last night; I didn’t even take my camera with me (so all I have is a grainy image from my phone). It was, after all, Valentine’s Day, so I wasn’t out with the intention of writing about the show. But I would like to write a quick review of this terrific evening of music.
The event was a combination Valentine’s Day/Trifon Zarezan celebration hosted by the Bulgarian Center of New England. The jazz for the event was provided courtesy of the Fifth Season Quartet – Elena Koleva (vocals), Plamen Karadonev (piano, accordion), Greg Loughman (bass), and Austin MacMahon (drums).
Though I couldn’t tell you any of the songs performed in the first set, the music was smooth, varied, and engaging, the performance seemingly effortless yet impeccable. I never cease to be impressed with Elena’s vocals, and I also always take notice in appreciation (and perhaps this is just me) when Plamen simultaneously plays the accordion and the keys.
In addition to a couple of young, very special guest performers during each set, the group performed a few jazzed-up pop vocal numbers during the second set. I recognized songs from Billy Joel, Norah Jones. Fifth Season also added some Bulgarian jazz to the mix. In all, an enjoyable evening thanks to an exceptionally talented jazz quartet.