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Album Review

What does it mean to be Slavic? That's a loaded question, one that the world is probably still not ready to answer. What happens, then, when Balkan rhythms and melodies reminiscent of Eastern Europe are blended with elements of New Orleans street music and tempered with an agitated set of sensibilities right up out of Brooklyn? This is Slavic Soul Party!, a feisty response to a relentlessly mutating global reality taking place here in the stressful glare of the future, where multiple traditions and rigorous revisions mingle like mad. There are funk marches with low brass punctuation that momentarily bring to mind the Dirty Dozen and ReBirth Brass Bands and the Sun Messengers but are gleefully subverted by the accordion, rotary valve flügelhorns called trubas, and various other jostling instruments plying hyperkinetic Eurasian riffs. Punchy Serbian dervish structures are suffused with klezmer but also tap into polka and mariachi. Imaginative digressions of surrealistic free jazz and wild whimsy sail through dark passages of fascinating depth and ruminative reverie. Somewhere outside of time, Pietro Deiro and Willem Breuker are lunching with Alfred Jarry, Federico Fellini, and the Budapest Ragtime Band. Slavic Soul Party! make wonderful and exciting music, exuding a thrilling and unpasteurized blend of traditional forms cheerfully reconsidered and reconstituted by a restlessly rolling creative collective.


Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

The amusing name Slavic Soul Party! conjures up thoughts of East European musicians playing covers of James Brown, Sam & Dave, and Wilson Pickett songs -- and that isn't such an outlandish idea because classic '60s and '70s soul does, in fact, have a lot of fans in that part of the world. But Slavic Soul Party! is actually a group of New York-based jazz musicians who, in the early 2000s, put their own spin on the instrumental folk music of Macedonia and the Balkans. Although Balkan-oriented, Slavic...
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Bigger, Slavic Soul Party!
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