Listening to Acoustic Version was certainly part of my early musical development and the very first contact with jazz in my teens. Jazz was not highly developed in Bulgaria as in other East European countries such as Poland, but already in the 1960s there were some formidable players and composers. All the jazz fans would remember Milcho Leviev and its jazz quartet FOCUS ’65 which was awarded the Critic’s Prize at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1967. Over the last thirty years jazz, ethno-jazz and fusion have flourished in Bulgaria with some unique musical examples such as Theodosii Spassov and Ivo Papazov.
Acoustic Version has kept its character and has evolved and matured over this thirty years without changing its style, which I believe can be considered part of the European jazz classics.
The magazine of the European Jazz Association – Jazz Forum says: “Donchev and Yotsov have managed to extend the jazz language to fields, where no one ever now has made experiments.”
Ivo Varbanov, 2015
Acoustic Version was founded in 1985 by two extraordinary instrumentalists and composers, the pianist Anthony Donchev and the drummer Hristo Yotsov. Since the very beginning the duo has captured the imagination of audiences and critics worldwide. A German reviewer: “…the sound produced by Acoustic Version is of the highest quality and precision. The improvising structure could not be better balanced.”
Since the beginning the group has worked with many leading musicians: George Donchev, Tommy Smith, Theodosii Spassov, Steve Slegle, Milcho Leviev, Tom Harrell, Yildiz Ibrahimova, Andy Scofield, Plamen Jechev, Alexia, Petar Slavov.
Acoustic Version were the first prize winners of the two most prestigious international jazz competition in Europa: Hoeilaart, Belgium (1985) and Leverkusen, Germany (1986), where Anthony and Hristo were also awarded the Jazz Artists of 1986 title.