A L P E R    Y I L M A Z   
"CLASHES"

 

 


Alper Yılmaz’s debut release on Kayique Records features his multifaceted compositions which reflect the clashes and tensions sprung from his musical and intellectual journeys spread over geographies, spanning from United States to Turkey.  Alper’s music evolves from distinct repetitive themes—cinematic at times.  Recorded with two different lineups, yet with the same Instrumentation, Clashes brings together musicians from New York and Istanbul, each of whom is a master on his instrument, to a musical platform of free expression and improvisation.  While the album has a strong statement and sound framed around Alper Yılmaz’s compositions and bass playing, each musician’s unique and versatile approach can be distinctly heard in Clashes.

Tracks: KuKe; XX; Clashes; Junk Mail; Oddity; Ninni; Spring Breeze: You Have No Idea; Landscapes

Personnel: Alper Yılmaz, electric basses, loops, effects, voice; Michael McGinnis, soprano saxophone, clarinet; David Binney, alto saxophone; Nick Kadajski, alto saxophone; Jon Davis, Rhodes; Matthias Bublath, Rhodes, keyboards; Andy Sanesi, drums; Volkan Öktem, drums

Picked by Bob Weinberg as "new and noteworthy" in Jazziz Jan/Feb 2008 issue (vol 25 no 01)

Critic's Pick by Martin Johnson (New York, Paste, Wall Street Journal) for Debut Album in The Village Voice 2007 Jazz Poll Ballots

"... the bassist Alper Yilmaz leads a band stocked with talent, including the saxophonists Mike McGinnis, David Binney and Nick Kadajski." - Nate Chinen New York Times 16 November 2007

"The Turkish-born electric bassist-composer has been freelancing around New York since arriving in town in December 2000. For his debut as a leader he is joined by some of his colleagues on the alternative-jazz scene, including saxophonists Michael McGinnis, Nick Kadajski and David Binney, pianist Jon Davis and Turkish drummer Volkan Öktem. Yilmaz’s music is busy and intelligent in a post-Steve Coleman sense, involving intricate, twisting harmonies on the frontline between soprano and alto saxophone with the bassist holding down the fort with minimalist, grooving ostinatos. This formula, which allows for considerable stretching from the soloists, plays out nicely on an adventurous piece like “KuKe.” Yilmaz incorporates some of his Turkish folk roots on the tricky “XX,” which shifts seamlessly from 6/8 to 7/8 and also features the bassist stretching out on a virtuosic Jaco-ish solo against Matthias Bublath’s Fender Rhodes comping and Oktem’s agile drumming. The composer employs dissonance, wordless vocals and a mysterious Middle Eastern vibe to good effect on the rubato title track, which also features expressive, gale-force blowing from alto saxophonist Binney and probing clarinet work from McGinnis. “Junk Mail” is a bit of in-the-pocket funk-jazz powered by Andy Sanesi’s solid backbeats and Yilmaz’s slap basslines and featuring some urgent alto blowing from Binney. On the edgy “Oddity,” the bassist expertly juggles odd meters while grooving heavily underneath, and he reveals a lyrical side on his gentle chordal showcase “Ninni” and also on the affecting ballad “Spring Breeze.” And the evocative closer, “Landscapes,” finds Yilmaz overdubbing multiple bass tracks and dealing with experimental looping effects, culminating this highly rewarding debut in creative fashion." - Bill Milkowski JazzTimes April 2008

"Alper Yilmaz is so New York: Born in Turkey; received his economics Ph.D. at The University of California at Davis; moves to Brooklyn; writes tricky, eclectic jazz music; shreds. He’s a smart composer, writing many a clever odd-time vamp, often anchoring contrapuntal small horn-ensemble arrangements latched onto chunky harmonies and serpentine melodies. His playing, too, is sophisticated, with enough Eastern influence to make it uniquely exotic in a modern jazz setting." - Jonathan Herrera Bass Player January 2008

"The debt to Return to Forever and Weather Report weighs heavily on Clashes, the debut release from Turkish bassist Alper Yilmaz. Those 1970s LPs established a working blueprint that persists, continuously iterated, sometimes with formulaic results. However, among the pallet-loads of reproductions — some quite unflattering — Clashes emerges as an excellent example of the form, while offering a few unique twists of its own... Unquestionably, Yilmaz’s bass riff on the opener “KuKe,” Matthias Bublath’s Rhodes on “Spring Breeze,” and the funky, toe-tap-defying meter on “Oddity” sound eerily familiar, echoing sounds we’ve repeatedly heard before. Nevertheless, among the nine originals here — all but one performed by quintets consisting of bass, drums, Rhodes and two reeds — there are moments when Clashes breaks the surface of its too reminiscent polish to explore new territory. Particular examples are “XX” and the title cut, where Yilmaz inserts successful Middle Eastern insinuations. On both tunes, the result provides twisty modal themes and rich fodder for probing solos, especially for Yilmaz as well as reedmen Michael McGinnis, David Binney and Nick Kadajski. Even more of Yilmaz’s Turkish roots on a follow-up release would assure less formula and quite welcome additions to the existing blueprint. - Jonathan B. Frey Knoxville Voice 29 November 2007

"Alper Yilmaz has delivered a GREAT modern jazz/fusion CD. The music harkens back to Wayne and Joe in the Weather Report era - with a touch of Marcus Miller... a timely release - perhaps an hommage to the recently departed genius, JZ." - George Walker Petit

"Rightly or wrongly, bassists seldom get the chance to step forward as band leaders. Because they provide the music’s bottom, they’re regularly topped by players who specialize in traditional solo instruments. Even so, Yilmaz, a Turkish émigré currently living in New York, doesn’t take advantage of his opportunity on Clashes to push his bass to the front of every mix. Far from it: He gives associates such as saxophonists Michael McGinnis and Nick Kadajski plenty of room to express themselves across the length and breadth of his compositions. This egalitarianism pays dividends on the title cut, a moody ten-minute excursion dominated by David Binney’s alto and Jon Davis’ atmospheric Rhodes, and “Junk Mail,” which turns out to be a special delivery. Yet the concluding “Landscapes,” consisting entirely of electric bass work plus assorted loops and effects, proves that Yilmaz doesn’t need to hide behind anyone. A promising debut." - Michael Roberts Backbeat Online 6 November 2007

"Turkish bass player transplanted to downtown lines up with two line ups playing the same instruments but with perspectives from across the water in either case. An inventive, new player that doesn’t have to do this (he has a Ph. D. in economics), he sounds like he’s more interested in keeping up his bass chops and I think we’re better off for it. Another economist, meh. Another bass player that knows how to kick it out, this jazzbo is on the right track." - Chris Spector www.midwestrecord.com 21 October 2007