Jazz on the Bosphorus: Troubled Waters
If the club was so unhappy with the group and management, why did they keep hiring them year after year, and if the group arrived in a lineup different from what was stipulated in the contract, there are proper, legal and formal ways to deal with the situationone-sidedly cutting the fee being not one of them. The accusation that Williams attacked the club publicly without giving the time for an explanation is also not confirmed by the dates, since the group played there in the first days of the month but the press release was published on March 22nd, almost three weeks after the fact. Finally, even if Cindy Blackman was not sitting beside the trap set, the sub was none other than the great Lenny White, so I do not think that any business was lost because of that...
The reason given for not offering a public explanationnot wanting to be involved in the political debate we mentionedis weak, considering that a press release would not have involved anything political. And all these statements by Mr. Şermet are in Turkish only, so the Buster Williams side has not been given a chance to answer. The issue with Kivaner is explained with the fact that the concert was canceled due to the young pianist "disrespectfulness," whatever that means, but no mention of the actual incident, witnessed by other colleagues, is made. The justificationthat so many excellent musicians kept coming to the club over the years and did not play for freeis also difficult to understand: of course no one says that everybody was stiffed, someone did get paid, after all.
All the other issues raised, including those by ex-workers, remain unanswered, but the statement suggests that the boycott of the musicians has been instigated by someone who never played at the club and was jealous, while similar personal attacks on single musicians have accompanied the official press release. According to the release by IJC, dozens of musicians suddenly decided, for obscure reasons, to coalesce and attack the club, as if a piece of the history of jazz like Williamsas well as many other well established musicianshad any interest in attacking a jazz venue.
The webpage of the club looks dejectedly abandoned, there is no word from the sponsors that supported the program, and it looks like there's no happy ending to this sad story that has created bad and unjustified vibes around the general Istanbul jazz scene while, at the same time, depriving the music of another outlet.
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