About five or so years ago, it seemed like the new thing in jazz might just be old music from Eastern Europe. Musicians from all over New York were moonlighting in Macedonian wedding bands and dedicating themselves to improvising fluidly in 12/8 time. Clarinetist Chris Speed and guitarist Brad Shepik were the most studious of the bunch. They, along with bassist Skuli Sverrisson and drummer Jim Black, formed Pachora, the modern improv and Eastern Euro folk group that leaned hardest toward the folk side of the equation. Many of the musicians who jumped on the Euro folk train have since jumped off-Shepik himself has moved from heavily folked-out projects to a straightahead guitar trio-but Pachora keep the light burning, though with a bit of a twist this time out.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.