Eastern Blok | Self Published (2007)
By Budd Kopman
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