Recorded at the 1971 Berlin Jazz Festival, Swinging East is testimony to jazz’s ability to cross over international boundaries. Representing various Communist Bloc countries, the musicians were all-stars in their own lands, and three of the players, Croatia’s Bosco Petrovic, Polish violinist Michal Urbaniak, and Hungarian bassist Aladar Pege, gained international fame. Based on a melody from the Kolo, an old Serbian folk dance, Balkan Blues starts off in 7/4 then swings into a slow blues with emotive solos, and Pege’s virtuoso bowed bass. There’s a Latin and funk feel to Sigo’s Garden, with fine flute solos and Bosco’s warm marimba play. Based on an Estonian folk song, With Pain I was Born to Live fluctuates between a 7/4 and 4/4, with a beautiful section in which Bosco improvises on the tarabrooka, a traditional Macedonian drum, accompanying a short flute solo that captures the timeless Balkan soul. A fascinating mix of jazz and East European folk.