Bora Çeliker: “Tersyüz”
pbMuzik – PBM Jazz Dialogue Series: Vol. I (2018)
Mix: Ergin Özler
Master: Hakan Kurşun
Prodüktor: Bora Çeliker
Bora Çeliker (g + elec.)
Andy Middleton (s)
Burak Bedikyan (p)
Johannes Strasser (b)
Joris Dudli (d)
1. Low Pressure Deo
2. Us Today
3. I Don’t Hear It, Do You?
6. Fonda et Cage
7. Trois Choses
9. Anne Saul
10. Çorba (alt take)
Sometimes I think that it is necessary to change things when it’s time. Things that felt right to you might not make you as comfortable anymore, and you might find yourself looking for what’s better or special.
The city that you live in; the one whose chaos makes you tired… Your old and beloved shoes that are now worn out… Your cellphone that you thought was ‘smart’ but is not getting slower and slower with every update… Your old friend, your bed that you crawl in at night with hopes to wake up refreshed, but is now making your back ache instead…
Sometimes it is necessary to change things, make them “upside down”, to start over and see things from a different perspective, to go in deeper. This applies to musical journeys as well: It is a part of the progress and development to move forward with different people; to take new and solid steps with them.
Bora Çeliker went through problematic times while recording “Borabook” in 2012 under the Equinox label (you can easily feel this especially while listening to the psychedelic/rock influenced notes). He set out to bring things “upside down”, especially when it comes to music and performance aspects, in his second studio album, released through pB Müzik under Hakan Kurşun’s leadership. A different recording studio, different instruments, different and better recoding quality and of course different musicians to record with. All these ‘differences’ seem to factor in to making Tersyüz one of the best albums this year.
“Tersyüz” has a sweet and interesting story. “Tersyüz”, apparently recorded in October of 2014, was shaped through coincidences just like “Borabook” did. Saxophonist Andy Middleton, drummer Joris Dudli, double bass player Johannes Strasser and their close friend pianist Oliver Kent decided to come to Istanbul for 4 concerts. Oliver Kent had to miss two concerts due to scheduling conflicts and they got in touch with Burak Bedikyan through the consulate to replace him. Burak Bedikyan told Bora Çeliker about this incredible opportunity to play with such talented musicians. The rest of the story is apparent in the pieces of the album.
We known that Andy Middleton played with Kenny Wheeler in ‘Reinventing the World’. It is exciting to think that Johannes and Joris has accompanied legendary musicians like Chet Baker, Joe Zawinul, Benny Golson and Art Farmer in the past. I don’t think there is more that is needed to be said about Burak Bedikyan, the Tommy Flanagan of Turkey, who changed the post-bop perception with the album he released through SteepleChase.
If I were asked “What do you consider to be jazz? Explain with a single word!” one day, I would immediately think of “Freedom”, as I believe the freedom that the musician feels in his playing and his ability to tell his story without conforming to certain forms are the fundamental elements of jazz. Bora Çeliker tells his story in “Tersyüz” without thinking too much on it, measuring it up and without asking “What if?” while successfully combining it with his art of improvization.
The band members stepped into the studio without any rehearsals after meeting the night before through drinking beer and snacking on salted peanuts. The album they create is different than many in my experience because as the pieces progress, the members of the band tend to disappear one after the other. There are pieces recorded as a quintet, and then there are “Fonda et Cage” and ”Trois Choses” in quartet, “I Don’t Hear It, Do You?” in trio and “Anne Saul” in duo format. I witness this scenario for the first time in this album when jazz is concerned. It is usually more readily accepted that jazz sounds more colorful and richer in quintet, sextet, septet, etc. formats, but thinking of how “Tersyüz” progresses from quintet to duo format, one can feel that it gets more personal for Bora as the musical intensity peaks.
The music in “Tersyüz” has progressed when compared to that in “Borabook” and there isn’t a “masterful execution” attitude as one might guess. There is no stress, no troubles or necessities; worries are left aside and the album is filled with such relaxed and peaceful music that can be more easily listened to alone or with a loved one. I think every single piece in the album is performed in a way that reflects the mature period of a jazz musician. My personal favorites are Low Pressure Deo and Jorisoul…
Even though it was recorded a while back, I think that “Tersyüz” is a great choice to add to your collection amongst this year’s releases.