FAZIL SAY (b.1970): Ses, Op. 40b, Kumru, Op. 12/2, Black Earth, Op. 8, Nâzim, Op. 12/1, Sevenlere Dair, Op. 12/3, Bodrum, Op. 41b, Paganini Jazz, Op. 5c, Alla Turca Jazz, Op. 5b, Yeni Bir Gulnihal, Op. 5e, 4 Dances of Nasreddin Hodja, Op. 1, 4 Fantasy Pieces, Op. 2, Nietzsche und Wagner, Op. 49.
Catalogue Number: 11Q086
Reference: V 5400
Description: A stylish and elegant classical piano virtuoso with bona fide jazz credentials, Say belongs to a relatively unusual type of pianist, not unlike Friedrich Gulda. His jazz compositions also have something in common with Gulda's (e.g. 08O070), and the Brubeck of Points on Jazz may also come to mind (a comparison lent additional appositeness by Brubeck's enthusiasm for Turkish rhythms - which naturally Say explores fully, especially in the exhilaratingly virtuosic rhythm studies Four Dances. Say the composer has a remarkably consistent gift of melodic inspiration, and an equally exquisite sense of taste in appropriating and adapting gorgeously memorable traditional and popular melodies in the traditions of his homeland. The pieces range from lush, heart-on-sleeve full-blooded romantic arrangements of traditional or traditional-sounding tunes in Ses, Kumru, Nazim and Sevenlere Dair to extrovert jazz, very much for the technical strengths of Say the pianist, such as the infectiously catchy swing of Bodrum, or the riotous jazz variations on Paganini's 24th Caprice. Say's most famous piece, Black Earth, occupies a middle ground between these and the Dances, Fantasy Pieces and the character studies on Nietzsche and Wagner, which have more in common with conventional concert music, and all the works share the same instant appeal and middle-eastern inflected tonal language. Fazil Say (piano).