We have been listening, writing, sketching for many years… In the meantime we pass judgement: Oh no sir, “This album is so great”, “This album should be listened to in such a way”, “This concert was amazing”, “This album never should have been recorded”… (Okay, maybe I never said that in such wording but I really really wanted to talk about a lot of recent albums!) Then there are works that speak for themselves… Local and international music with much time spent, sweat perspired and then left to float in the void for the listeners to grab… This time I will talk about “it should have been created” and “it was past due”.
Volkan Hürsever and Cengiz Baysal possibly taught me that the music I was listening to is jazz, but I started my journey from the roots of the tree to the tips of its branches by listening to the Miles Davis classic “Kind of Blue” and then listening to the albums of the musicians in this recording in chronological order. It was very surprising to me to see how Miles Davis changed his music every 2-3 albums just like The Beatles did after their album ‘Rubber Soul’; adapting to the music of his time or creating innovative ideas to take his music a step further while passing it onto the next generation. I educated myself 4/4, 3/4 or 5/4-9/8 jazz rhythms to achieve some success in my learning but also started to feel that something was missing. Musicians who played in Kind of Blue, especially Miles Davis, (the greatest examples here are John Coltrane and Miles’ Second Great Quintet) moved onto the next phase of their careers by expressing themselves ‘freely’ as they felt comfortable, stepping “ahead” of classical jazz (It would be correct not to use Bill Evans as such an example).
Ultimately, an album, music created in 1959 met audiences in a different way in 1960 and even a more surprising way in 1962, 1964… A cycle that always renews itself, never static, always improving, developing, moving ahead with a gaze into the future…
Yes, swing is great. Using a drummer’s anecdote: The power of the “ride” cymbal will never be lost and “Classical Jazz” will never lose its influence, I can guarantee that. However, knowing “the other side” of jazz and learning how things “work” on that side lies on the other side of the coin; we need to broaden our vision and improve the scale and aesthetics of music and enrich it.
Şevket Akıncı has a similar view as he immortalizes the greatest examples of the most valuable music this country has to offer (for 12 years nonetheless!). His book “Öteki Caz” (The Other Jazz) features a maximum of 90 pages among its detailed 500-page body, dedicated to the well-known works that we call “Yes, that’s jazz!”. The real stuff happening is told on the pages that follow these!
Şevket Akıncı shows his readers every single corner of jazz and not only the other side of the genre
Louis Armstrong: Check, Miles Davis: Check, Bill Evans: Check, but we also need to think on, discuss, research who Albert Ayler or Cecil Taylor are; “Terje Rypdal or Ralph Towner”; “John Abercrombie or Pat Metheny”, that Debussy’s music goes hand-in-hand with free improvisation; and whether this sub-genre in question is “freely feeling and pressing notes at whim” or that “it should have invisible rules”. To do this we need to listen and learn. There is so much music and so little time.
There is another point that needs to be remembered and even memorized: This is a treasure created by a Turkish author. Years of experience is put into writing for the first time by a Turkish author, and is told from the eyes of one.
We have platforms on the tip of our fingers that we can use to access the albums he recommends on with a single click. Listening to every piece on his recommendation list, whether it is a 3.5 minutes long piece or a 15 minutes long epic; not only living them a lifespan of 15 seconds before moving onto the next track; slowly digesting them all to their last second… It only takes some enthusiasm from us to listen, to discover. One can only life a comprehensive life through discovery. “Öteki Caz” is a ‘bedside song’ that explains what this ‘language’ is in a fluent and accessible way without having to walk in labyrinths like Joachim-Ernst Berendt.