Trio Mopmu

Torta Bulgarska

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Despite the band name and album title, Trio Mopmu are American jazz and experimental players working in traditional Bulgarian styles leavened with some Western influences; for example, "Kraydunasvko" features Ryan Francesconi's tambura sharing space with special guest Mike Marshall's mandolin over a swinging arrangement that owes as much to Django Reinhardt's '30s gypsy jazz as it does to anything. Singer Lily Storm adds vocals to a handful of songs, her dramatic inflections adding a vivid new element to the trio's propulsive sound; besides having excellent phrasing, best showcased on the quiet, atmospheric "Prodava Se Konche," her Bulgarian pronunciation is flawless. Though the tracks that don't feature Storm suffer slightly from her absence (Trio Mopmu really should consider hiring her as their full-time frontwoman), they're well-played, enjoyable Bulgarian music that's accessible to listeners unfamiliar with the styles.

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