Artist: Slavic Soul Party!

Album: SSP! Plays Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite

Release Date: 2016-09-16

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about the album



Slavic Soul Party! celebrates 50 years of the Far East Suite with a new record that re-imagines the iconic suite as an Eastern European brass band discovering an exotic American sound, reversing the "exotic tinge" and reveling in this subtle, funky, and brilliant music. The essence of Ellington and Strayhorn's collaboration is apparent from the first notes - the pulsing, harmonically rich chords of Tourist Point of View - but there's something clearly different here. The slight of hand that SSP! has achieved with deft arrangements and strong Balkan playing is wonderfully disorienting. This is music that has taken several trips across the Atlantic, in both directions.

about the artist

Fiery brass, throbbing grooves, Roma (Gypsy) accordion wizardry, and improvisational verve make Slavic Soul Party! NYC's "official" #1 brass band for BalkanSoul GypsyFunk. The 9-piece brass band creates new music combining elements of Eastern European and North American traditions. Dedicated to a vision of brass bands as fundamentally social ensembles, SSP! has created a brass band culture in NYC by being there in good times and bad: enriching peoples' lives with the transcendent power of acoustic dance music, weekly in Brooklyn for over 12 years. The band is equally at home in concert halls and school yards, prisons and pasha's palaces, dive bars and international festivals, and has toured in North America, Eastern and Western Europe, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. In 2009 Carnegie Hall selected SSP! to pilot Musical Connections, and since then the band has made music and friends in NY prisons and worked with incarcerated youth to express themselves through music. The band's intense live energy and six recorded albums have secured them a reputation as North America's premier band for Balkan-inspired brass band music.

Slavic Soul Party! performances combine original compositions, radical re-arrangements, and Balkan songs from the folk tradition while giving wide berth to the improvisations of the band members. SSP!'s music has won the regard of fans and musicians on both sides of the Atlantic, and their tunes have been covered by Serbian brass stars Boban Markovic Orkestar, Julliard students, New Orleans funk sensations Galactic, and the street-band What Cheer? Brigade. The band's Tuesday night residency in Brooklyn has become a destination for music fans from around the world, and is famous for "delivering a great time." (New York Times) But the band is humble about Balkan music: it has no illusions of Balkan brass authenticity and tries to deepen understanding by traveling to the Balkans to learn from master musicians - six times in a dozen years, and always with assistance from the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Led by percussionist and composer Matt Moran (goč), the band includes Peter Stan (accordion), Peter Hess (reeds), Kenny Warren and John Carlson (trumpets), Tim Vaughn and Adam Dotson (trombones), and Chris Stromquist (snare and percussion).