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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Balkan jazz - Top albums

Balkan jazz is actually a kind of fusion - a jazz version of balkan music, taking over the rhythms and melodic structures of the region, but with a jazz line-up, and hence cannot be really called world music. The performers do not necessarily have to be from the Balkan, although it helps if you look at the list below. Some American musicians should get a permanent visa for each balkan country, though, such as reedist Matt Darriau and guitar/saz-player Brad Shepik. Balkan music is by itself already a mix of many influences : European folk, roma music, Turkish music and jewish klezmer. The complexity of its rhythms, the important role of free improvization and its openness to other musical forms make it in spirit closely linked to jazz.
  • Babkas - Fratelli (Briggan Kraus, Brad Shepik and Aaron Alexander)
  • Ekrem & Gypsy Grooves (the absolute real thing : rather world music, but so jazzy...)
  • Goran Ivanovic & Fareed Haque - Macedonian Blues (acoustic guitar duo)
  • Vasili Nenad Band - Joe Jack (sax, piano, bass, drums)
  • Paradox Trio - Flying At A Slant (Matt Darriau, Brad Shepik, Rufus Cappadocia, Seido Salifoski)
  • Pachora -Unn (Chris Speed, Brad Shepik, Skuli Sverisson, Jim Black)
  • Brad Shepik - The Well
  • Nicolas Simion - Balkan Jazz (Roumanian jazz with some Germans thrown into the mix)
  • Slavic Soul Party - In Makedonija (Americans bring balkan brass band music)
  • Ferenc Snetberger - Nomad (acoustic guitar + bass + drums - from Hungary)
  • Miroslav Tadic - Without Words (acoustic guitar with Peter Epstein on sax)
  • Vlatko Stefanovic & Miroslav Tadic - Krushevo (2 x acoustic guitar )
  • Samo Salamon - Arabian Picnic (Arabian in name, but definitely Balkan guitar trio)
  • Bojan Zulfikarpasic - Yopla! (master piano-player, has more than one excellent album)
  • Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio (Douglas, Shepik, Black)
  • Borbely Mihaly - Crystal Mountain (reeds, guitar, bass, drums)
Other suggestions? Let me know.


Kakamátyás said...

hmm, sounds great, never heard of it, however im from Hungary, thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Suggestion: Naked c/p
"Music of the Belgrade-based band Naked is rooted in jazz with the addition of different flavors. It all seams like a game, rhythm is changing constantly, in a (positive) way it is not an easy task to follow them: it is flowing spontaneous and unpretencious. There is some funk, a touch of folklore (ocasional "broken" rhythms as the reminiscence of the Macedonian ones) and kind of psichodelic - accordeon in echo, from the background, often sounding like the keyboard. And the last but not least there is a real jazz-rock violin. Inerplay is strongest impression,AND than groove."

joe said...

I wonder if you count any of Ivo Papasov's records? I would certainly add in the great Turkish gypsy clarinetist Selim Sesler (you can find his work on the Double Moon label). Musicians such as Chris Speed and Matt Darriau have most certainly been influenced by these players, and many others.

joe said...

I also suggest for anyone really interested in Balkan (fusion) jazz to also look at the back catalogue of the 3 Mustaphas 3 ....... do you remember them!!

Anonymous said...

folk balkan music it's the really jazz. It's sounding from the hart