Archive for the ‘Burhan Oçal’ Category

Groove Alla Turca by Burhan Öçal & Jamaaladeen Tacuma

October 20, 2008

“Groove alla Turca” brings together the traditional rhythms of Turkey with afro-american musical forms such as jazz, blues, funk, hip-hop and soul. Turkish percussion virtuoso Burhan Öçal and his Turkish band join forces with bass master Jamaaladeen Tacuma and some of the finest musicians from New York and Philly (Art Baron, Jack Walrath, Ben Schachter and Daryl Burge to name a few) to create a funky sound with many colors and intricate details. Natasha Atlas’ ethereal voice is heard on four tracks, where her Arabic vocals flow meticulously with the groove.

“Groove Alla Turca” is a project that brings together two worlds apart; the world of Burhan Öçal, who grew up playing traditional rhythms of Turkey, with that of Jamaaledeen Tacuma, a world of jazz, blues, funk and soul. This is a meeting of percussion and bass, rhythm and groove, of traditional players on kanun, oud and clarinet, darbuka and violin. Jamaaladeen Tacuma is joined by some of the finest musicians from New York and Philadelphia, Jack Walrath, a long time associate of Mingus, is the trompet in the horn section. Art Baron and Ben Schachter complete the front-line on the trombone and tenor, Daryl Burge and Rick Iannacone, both from Phili, are the force behind, on the drums and the guitar. It was a destiny to have Natacha Atlas on four tracks, as she happened to be in town during the recording sessions. Her presence seems all planned as her Arabic vocals flow wih the groove. The result is a funky sound with many colors, a big sound with many details. This is jazz, funk, ethnic, tradition. This is groove in a Turkish way.

Burhan Öçal, born in Kırklareli, a town in Thrace, was introduced to percussion through his father and to religious vocal music through his mother. As well as “seraille” and folk music, he was also influenced by Turkish neo-classical music. He is a master of all kinds of percussion such as “darbuka”, “kös” (kettledrum), “kudüm” and “bendir” also of Turkish stringed instruments such as “divan-saz”, tanbur and “ud” (oud). Combining Turkish classical and folk influences with western classical music, or Turkish folk music with jazz, he performed with celebrated pianist Maria Joao Prires, Joe Zawinul, Eliot Fisk; among others he has a duo with pianist Peter Waters and generally performs in and out of Turkey with his İstanbul Oriental Ensemble. His first recording with İstanbul Oriental Ensemble, “Gypsy Rum” won the 1995 German Record Critics’ Award. The second recoring “Sultan’s Secret Door” also won the German Record Critics’s Award in 1997. “Jardin Ottoman” received Prix Choc in 1996.

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Kirklareli Il Siniri by Burhan Oçal & The Trakya All Stars

October 16, 2008

Burhan Ocal’s instruments are as diverse as his music. In addition to a wide variety of percussion, such as the darbuka (a vase-shaped drum played with the fingers), he is a highly skilled player on a number of stringed instruments, including the divan-saz, tanbur and oud. His expressive voice adds to the spectrum of musical elements at his command.

Since 1977, Burhan Ocal has divided his time between Istanbul and Zurich, Switzerland. He has become widely known for touring and recording with his Oriental Ensemble, which performs traditional gypsy and Turkish folk music. Seeking out a range of world-class collaborators, he has also performed with Maria, Joao Pires, keyboard specialist Joe Zawinul and, more recently, guitarist Eliot Fisk. He appears regularly with his own jazz band, the Burhan Ocal Group, and as a guest artist with George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band from Switzerland. His newest projects including the formation of the duo with the remarkable Australian pianist Peter Waters and his most unusual venture, the creation of a Oriental/Funk/Hip-Hop band with the American bass players Jamaladeen Tacuma.

Burhan aimed to include all his early influences in this project. He wandered through most of the musician cafes in Trakya (Thrace) and showed up at many local celebrations with the intention to form an orchestra made up of unknown musicians who were true masters of their instruments. The Balkans came in with the trumpet and accordion, which are actually hard-to-find instruments in Turkish music. In the end, he was able to form a band that he could confidently name The Trakya All Stars. All of the musicians involved in this project share a common heritage. Except for Burhan, all are of gypsy origin and all their ancestors including Burhan’s migrated from Thessaloniki (Salonika) region in northern Greece at the beginning of the 1900s.» (National Geographic World Music, courtesy Calabash Music)

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from BabeBlogue