Slavic Soul Party!: Bigger (2005)
The Middle Eastern influences in New York's downtown have taken a different trackdecidedly less secular and leaning more toward high art. But in that context, the twelve-member Slavic Soul Party! (which features Curtis Hasselbring, Matt Moran, Oscar Noriega, and Chris Speed) has captured something of the populist aspect of the music. This is a party band, maintaining a weekly residency at Barbès, a small club and now a record label in Brooklyn. Bigger is SSP's second release. The band tries to keep the party feel, with spoken snippets between tunes and a couple of crowd-pleasing requests (Lee Dorsey's "Ya-Ya and the Meters' "Look-ka Py Py ), along with some traditional folk tunes, less recognizable covers, and a handful of their own compositions.
But crowd pleasing works best with a crowd, and Slavic Soul Party! works best with a party, as was the case in November, when the musicians wound through the aisles of the crowded WFMU record fair, led by a belly dancer and barely able to make their way through the room. Bigger captures them well and will sound best in a living room filled with friends.
Track Listing: Shall I Throw It Down?; Missy Sa-Sa; Cacak Nirvana; Dance the Dust Up; Malina; Ya-Ya; Into the Night; 140; Curha 9/9; Bride's Song; Going Down, Looking Up; Rufalina; Down; Juan Colorado; Indinski; Look-Ka Py Py.
Record Label: Barbes Records
Style: Fringes of Jazz