Jazz Related Rock • Macedonia
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LEB I SOL picture
Leb i sol ("Леб и Сол", English "Bread and Salt") is a Macedonian jazz fusion group founded in 1976 in Skopje. The original line-up was: Vlatko Stefanovski (guitar), Bodan Arsovski (bass guitar), Nikola Dimuševski (keyboards), and Garabet Tavitijan (drums). Their music combined elements of rock, jazz, and local ethnic music. As the band matured, the jazz influences became less obvious. However, in concert, Leb i sol's performances of jazzed-up and lengthy versions of traditional ethno-folk classics such as "Jovano, Jovanke" or "Aber Dojde, Donke", were often received with great enthusiasm and applause.

In the beginning Leb i Sol were greatly influenced by the ex-Yugoslav jazz-rock fusion group Smak, especially in their attempt to marry a jazz-rock instrumental approach to traditional Balkan sounds. Stefanovski was always considered one of the best guitarist of the former Yugoslavia; his technique is quite similar to Allan Holdsworth's or John McLaughlin's. Arsovski was on the
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LEB I SOL Discography

LEB I SOL albums / top albums

LEB I SOL Leb i Sol album cover 3.92 | 3 ratings
Leb i Sol
Jazz Related Rock 1978
LEB I SOL Leb i Sol 2 album cover 4.81 | 4 ratings
Leb i Sol 2
Jazz Related Rock 1978
LEB I SOL Rucni Rad album cover 4.65 | 4 ratings
Rucni Rad
Jazz Related Rock 1979
LEB I SOL Infinity album cover 3.88 | 3 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1981
LEB I SOL Sledovanje album cover 2.54 | 3 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1982
LEB I SOL Kalabalak album cover 3.85 | 4 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1983
LEB I SOL Tangenta album cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1984
LEB I SOL Kao kakao album cover 2.96 | 3 ratings
Kao kakao
Jazz Related Rock 1987
LEB I SOL Putujemo album cover 2.88 | 3 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1989
LEB I SOL I Taka Nataka album cover 2.96 | 4 ratings
I Taka Nataka
Jazz Related Rock 2008

LEB I SOL EPs & splits

LEB I SOL live albums

LEB I SOL Akusticna trauma album cover 3.88 | 3 ratings
Akusticna trauma
Jazz Related Rock 1982
LEB I SOL Live in New York album cover 2.00 | 3 ratings
Live in New York
Jazz Related Rock 1990
LEB I SOL Live in Macedonia album cover 4.77 | 2 ratings
Live in Macedonia
Jazz Related Rock 2006

LEB I SOL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LEB I SOL re-issues & compilations

LEB I SOL Devetka album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1992
LEB I SOL Anthology album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Jazz Related Rock 1996
LEB I SOL Leb i Sol 1 & 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Leb i Sol 1 & 2
Jazz Related Rock 2000
LEB I SOL Rucni Rad & Beskonacno album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rucni Rad & Beskonacno
Jazz Related Rock 2000
LEB I SOL Leb i Sol vol. 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Leb i Sol vol. 1
Jazz Related Rock 2003
LEB I SOL Leb i Sol vol. 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Leb i Sol vol. 2
Jazz Related Rock 2003
LEB I SOL The Ultimate Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
Jazz Related Rock 2008

LEB I SOL singles (0)

LEB I SOL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

LEB I SOL Reviews

LEB I SOL Rucni Rad

Album · 1979 · Jazz Related Rock
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After two successfull albums LEB I SOL decided not to repeat the formula but to go into a deeper exploration of jazz.

For the third album they almost abandoned the lyrics and invited a saxophone guest for two tracks. Vocals are present but except "Lenja pesma", an excellent even semi-commercial hit at the time, they were utilized as an instrument. Dimusevski is more active than ever with his electric piano and plethora of synths, Stefanovski's guitar technique is brought to perfect here, while rhythm section of Tavitijan and Arsovski is impeccable as always. Macedonian folk is less present in favour of more "avant-garde" approach in a manner of jazz improvistions, so "Rucni rad" is not very accessible on the first listen.

Production of Josip Bocek is finally top notch for the time, the whole album carries the balanced sound of all instruments, perfectly arranged so you could get a sense of the band playing as a single body. Solos are rare but very effective and functional.

All 7 tracks are perfect but obvious favorites would be "Lenja pesma" (lyrics as always by Goran Stefanovski, Vlatko's brother, who is a renowned Macedonian playright), Arsovski's title track "Rucni rad" with some beautiful fretless bass melody line and Stefanovski's "Kumova slama", one of the most memorable instrumentals of the former Yugo music scene, beautiful melody with emotional guitar solo weeping. However there is present a sort of optimistic, positive feeling in this composition which sometimes reminds me of the similar style found in say "Jessica" by ALLMAN BROTHERS. This is a true gem of ex-Yugo fusion.

It is available on a "2LP on1CD" reissue coupled with the fourth album "Infinity" (T.Pics/PGP RTS, CD 2046, 2000) so you better go and get it!

LEB I SOL Leb i Sol 2

Album · 1978 · Jazz Related Rock
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The second LEB I SOL album repeats the formula from the debut. The same line-up, the same instrumentation, the same producer (J.Bocek) and similar ratio between instrumentals and songs with lyrics (one less in this case ). Preconditions for the "second album trap"?

No, this time we are talking about genuine masterpiece of ex-Yugo fusion! Production is better, all instruments sound better, compositions are better, and all musicians expressed their ideas more bravely. Stefanovski is not much of a vocalist - indeed, LEB I SOL are first and foremost the instrumentalists - the vocals are often moved to the second front, much like Andy Latimer did with CAMEL. But even his rare voice is better here on the second album.

Side A of the original vinyl (first 4 tracks) are simply stunning: "Akupunktura", "Kako ti drago", a great crescendo of another traditional "Aber dojde Donke" and vocal hit "Talasna duzina" are worth the price alone. But the rest must not be overlooked: the most furious guitar solo I ever heard in "Marija" and a closing short acoustic song "Bonus" which was to become a sort of LEB I SOL anthem during their live performances when it was usually pretty extended. All members of the team are giving their best, especially Dimusevski's piano and synths shine.

LEB I SOL music was always more melodic and skillfully played than avant-garde or explorative, so if you are looking for a tasty and technically superb rework of traditional Macedonian folk melodies with odd time signatures done in a vein of Allan Holdsworth playing guitar with RETURN TO FOREVER backing, search no more! It is available on a "2LP on1CD" reissue coupled with "Leb i sol" (T.Pics/PGP RTS, CD 2036, 2000) so you better go and get it!

LEB I SOL Leb i Sol

Album · 1978 · Jazz Related Rock
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Very good debut album! "Devetka" was the first important composition by LEB I SOL using the peculiar Macedonian odd time signature (the nine in this case, as the track title suggests). "Nisam tvoj" was one of the three vocal tracks on the album, being the first major hit. "Kokoska" carries the crazy solos on guitar and piano, while "Damar" was another proto-type of their melodic instrumental which would be frequently used on the subsequent albums. Stefanovski is already here a developed guitarist with unique style and virtuosity although in some moments his playing is too flat and rather mechanical. Josip Bocek, ex-KORNI GRUPA guitarist, was producer but he could not be too proud of his work here because the sound is rather murky. The album was recorded in September 1977 in Novi Sad after only several concerts. SMAK's "Crna dama" LP was released few months before "Leb i sol" to firmly establish the fusion path on which the Macedonian wizards would follow on. If only the production was better this would have been a candidate for a top rating... . Still, this is a firm 4 stars !!! It is available on a "2LP on1CD" reissue coupled with "Leb i sol 2" (T.Pics/PGP RTS, CD 2036, 2000) so you better go and get it!

LEB I SOL Akusticna trauma

Live album · 1982 · Jazz Related Rock
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This double vinyl live set represents the last release of PGP RTB label and captures LEB I SOL at Zagreb's "Kulusic" Club which was a "Mecca" for live recordings during the most prolific era of ex-Yugoslav rock scene in the 1980s.

The band is stripped to the bone here, in the basic rock trio of drums, guitar and bass, with raw sound and engaging musicianship. Personally, I can still remember many of their gigs at Sarajevo in that period and this album closely represents the repertoire they usually performed. Songs from their last and up to that point the weakest album "Sledovanje" sound better here, without studio manipulations, especially "Lokomobila" and "Mile Pop Jordanov". On the other hand compositions from their first three "classic" albums are played differently (they had to cover the loss of the keyboards), but not always with successful results. Djuricic on drums is still not on par with others, although he is trying hard.

Perhaps the most interesting tracks on this set are "Ziva rana", which is extended to 21 minutes improvisational jam and "Bonus", which developed from a short acoustic coda vignette from "Leb i Sol 2" to a full length song that would remain their concert favorite in many years to come. I always hesitate to recommend "live" albums because I do not really trust their documentary nature. But, in this case I remember well the LEB I SOL concerts and this record truly represents their potentials on stage - you may get a sense of being there. "Akusticna trauma" is a very good LEB I SOL performance and it is a recommended purchase!

LEB I SOL Anthology

Boxset / Compilation · 1996 · Jazz Related Rock
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Double disc set "Anthology" is probably the best recapitulation of the entire LEB I SOL career, thus making it a good first-purchase for novices. However, jazz purists will notice too many tracks from the later albums of the pop-mainstream period, notably taken from "Kao kakao", including perhaps the worst song LEB I SOL ever written - "Autoput", at the expense of brutally under-represented "Infinity" (only two tracks).

On the other hand, first two albums - world fusion masterpieces - are fairly enough included, so if you can spare a few bucks more and this is your first LEB I SOL purchase, then go for it! If you don't like their pop period of the late 1980s and would like to restrict a collection to pure fusion highlights of their first four albums, then a single disc "Devetka" compilation is your preferred choice. Three stars for "Anthology".

LEB I SOL Movies Reviews

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