SLAVIC SOUL PARTY! | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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SLAVIC SOUL PARTY!

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Until I heard the new Teknochek Collision (Barbes), I thought of this New York nine-piece as a pretty good simulacrum of a Balkan brass band that would never be able to go head-to-head with its models--Gypsy groups like the Boban Markovic Orkestar and Kocani Orkestar. Turns out I was wrong about that. The group, led by percussionist Matt Moran, has toughened up its sound, giving it a visceral punch missing on previous efforts. Ron Caswell's pumping tuba now has a ballsy metallic rip to it, propelling the tunes like a locomotive, and the five horn players on the front line--who include killer jazzers like trombonist Jacob Garchik and trumpeter Shane Endsley--slice and swing with muscular precision, whether in unison or in puzzle-piece counterpoint. The music throbs with pure Balkan funk on traditional songs and tradition-minded originals alike, and Moran and company make some room for the New Orleans brass-band sound too, especially in a sassy, swaggering version of "Occapella," an Allen Toussaint number that Lee Dorsey sang with the Meters. Mucca Pazza and Stone's One Man Band open. a 9 PM, Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln, 773-404-9494 or 800-594-8499, $12.

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