Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
The exotic rhythms of Bulgarian music are combined with the improvisations of jazz through the piano and keyboard playing of Milcho Leviev. A member of Don Ellis' band in the 1970s and a well-traveled sideman for Billy Cobham, Art Pepper and Al Jarreau and leader of jazz-rock band, Free Flight, in the 1980s, Leviev has continued with his cross-cultural musical experiments.. In addition to leading his own trio, featuring bassist Jamie Faust and drummer Dick Weller, Leviev has performed with the Leviev-Slon Quartet, featuring drummer Claudio Slon, bassist Mark Simon and percussionist Cassio Duarte, and, the Jamie Faust Trio.
A graduate of the Bulgarian State Music Academy, Leviev worked as pianist and director of the Bulgarian Radio and Television Big Band in the mid-1960s. Temporarily relocating to Germany, he worked with Albert Mangelsdorff.
At the urging of trumpet player and bandleader Don Ellis, Leviev emigrated to the United States in 1971. For the next years, he was a seminal member of Ellis' large orchestra. Leaving Ellis in 1977, Leviev played with a wide range of jazz and fusion musicians. Forming Free Flight in 1980, he spent three years exploring the possibilities of fusing jazz and rock influences.