328

Eastern Blok: Folk Tales

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Eastern Blok: Folk Tales After the whirlwind experience of Goran Ivanovic Group (Balkan Song Records, 2006), the group, which has remained stable, changed its named to Eastern Blok. Incredible as it might seem, Folk Tales is tighter and more complex than the first album, while retaining the earlier energy and abandon.

While virtuoso guitarist Goran Ivanoic remains the nominal leader of the group and main composer, Doug Rosenberg (reeds), Matt Ulery (bass) and Michael Caskey (drums and percussion) are further integrated into the group sound. This sound is a mix of Balkan folk music and some Klezmer, with the jazz aesthetic of improvisation wrapped in an impossibly high-energy drive that also brings in very heavy bass lines.

The pulse moves relentlessly forward, always given a kick by the odd meter, odd phrase length or out of phase repeated note groupings. The effect is mesmerizing, the bass and drums acting as one to viscerally push the listener this way and that.

Over this extremely physical, almost brutal yet dancing underpinning, Rosenberg plays either unison with Ivanovic or flies over it all, seemingly free yet always in touch. Ivanovic plays many roles, constantly changing between supporting the rhythm, adding harmonic complexity and soloing.

The music can also be beautiful. "Sorrow's Secret" lowers the energy a bit, with long lines played by guest cellist Michael Freilich. The track builds to a romantic climax as Caskey pushes ever forward, cresting and then ending with a classical guitar tremolo.

The arrangements on Folk Tales are perhaps the main advance in that the players' roles are continuously inverted and mixed, creating different textures and sounds. Eastern Blok is most definitely a band to catch live, because the energy pouring from the speakers would only intensify in a club.


Track Listing: Tango Pajdusko; Songs From The Black Sea; Balkan Healer; Sorrow's Secret; Kopanista; The Moon in the Labyrinth; Sapik; Wisdom of the Sands; Tricycle.

Personnel: Doug Rosenberg: tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute; Goran Ivanovic: guitars, bouzouki; Matt Ulery: acoustic bass, electric bass; harmonium; Michael Caskey: drums, percussion; Michael Freilich: cello (4).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Nihil Novi" CD/LP/Track Review Nihil Novi
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Heart Of Gold: Live In Aarhus" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Of Gold: Live In Aarhus
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "New World" CD/LP/Track Review New World
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Ever Up & Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Ever Up & Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 24, 2016
Read "Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Deep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 5, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!