Move over, Harlem Shake, there’s a new neighborhood anthem in town. It’s called the Bushwick Stomp, a pseudo-homegrown gypsy-jazz track inspired by Friday and Saturday nights along the ‘ol L train.
Finnish gypsy jazz guitarist Olli Soikkeli authored the track after moving from Finland to Bushwick in the summer of 2014. He told us the neighborhood still had a “little bit of that old New York” feeling to it when he arrived, and he wanted to capture the “rough energy” and loudness of it in a new piece of music.
“On Saturday nights, there’s the local Puerto Ricans having their parties, so that’s probably what was the inspiration,” he said.
Soikkeli’s ode to Bushwick is featured on a new CD called, Travels, which his band Rhythm Future Quartet released earlier this year. (Soikkeli co-leads Rhythm Future Quartet with Boston-based violist Jason Anick.) With the help of Max O’Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass, Soikkeli says the quartet “pays respect to the masters, like Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli,” gypsy jazz pioneers who formed Quintette du Hot Club de France back in 1934.
Named for a Reinhardt tune, Rhythm Future Quartet strives to simulate QdHCdF’s sound and instrumentation in their own highly arranged standards – but with a signature twist. Their original music also includes influences from Latin and Balkan music, and contemporary artists like Michael Jackson and the Beatles.
Bad news for Bushwick, though: when I spoke to Soikkeli he said he’d just up and left to Williamsburg, off the Graham stop. So should we expect a Williamsburg Wallop soon? Maybe. Soikkeli said that when he’s done with the quartet’s ongoing CD release tour, he’ll be writing some new stuff, and “at some point there’ll be something with Williamsburg.” In the meantime, you can catch him Sunday at Cornelia Street Cafe and his full band at Joe’s Pub next month.