****** My review of Slav to the Rhythm can be found at AllAboutJazz.com: http://j.mp/JiaROG. It begins:
It's hard to believe that music can be so compelling that, even if only heard in passing, it's still so absolutely memorable. Catching just the first few minutes of Farmers Market at Natt Jazz 2011, thanks to an ungodly airport pickup time the following morning, left such an impression that when the first notes of the opening title track to Slav to the Rhythm hit the speakers nearly a year later, it was immediately clear that this was the same piece with which this remarkable Norwegian/Bulgarian hybrid opened its show. The record features, in addition to the core touring quintet, a cast of 14 additional guests, and main mastermind/multi-instrumentalist Stian Carstensen performs on no less than 22 instruments. Live, however, the significantly pared-down instrumentation of the five-piece Farmers Market meant that, for example, a brief interlude in the song was covered by Carstensen on accordion rather than organ, lending it an entirely different complexion.