Amazon.com Widgets

Saadet Türköz: Urumchi (2006)

By Published: | 6,877 views
Saadet Türköz: Urumchi How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The Swiss Intakt imprint has long evinced a stake in stewarding ethnic improvisatory traditions. This new album by Kazakhstani vocalist Saadet Türköz presents one of the most striking distillations of an age-old idiom. Türköz's roots lie in the musical traditions of her forbearers, bred in the windswept steppe lands of what is now Eastern China. As a longtime resident of Zurich, European cultures have also flavored her perspective, but the music on Urumchi closely limns her ethnic heritage to create music that is both ancient sounding and bracingly immediate.

The disc's fourteen songs occupy under an hour's time. Türköz's voice, unprocessed and stunning in its emotional impact, soars and glides through verses in her native tongue. Strict meaning may be lost on Western ears (lyric translations are not included), but the feeling behind the sung stanzas stands out in emblematic relief. Accompaniment is spare but effective and ranges from bowed and plucked string instruments like the lute-related dombra to hand percussion, clay flute and Jew's harp. Cello even crops up on the brief "Elimay in sorrowful concert with the operatic strains of Türköz's voice. Dancing arpeggiated dombra runs bracket her lush resonating musings on "Silözen and "Akbulak, songs both elegant and exploratory in their conception, propelled by salubrious rhythmic couplets.

"Alis unfurls as an aural analogue to mist-shrouded peaks, arco strings and airborne flute braiding with Türköz's rich laryngeal trills to create a sound that's oddly akin an Irish chant. She sits out on the gorgeous "Küy, leaving Sayan Akmolda to a solo recital on the kilkobuz, a violin-like instrument whose virile arco strains rise and recede in opulent tonal swathes. Karsiga Ahmediyar gets a similar chance at solitary virtuosity on "Nurgisa, his tautly strung dombra launching galloping salvos that would likely make most classical guitarists green with envy.

Elsewhere, I was reminded remotely of the sounds of Djivan Gasparyan and Hamza El Din. Other listeners will no doubt attach their own personal referents, and it's this universality that speaks most to the palpable beauty of Türköz's art. Hers is a living expressive form that reverberates with and responds to individual experience, pointing out and celebrating the interconnectedness of all things. The Intakt label may be primarily known as a vehicle for Western European improvisers, but this disc points again to the impressive breadth of its interests. In the end, we remain the lavish beneficiaries of broad ears.

Track Listing: Tansamalim; Silözen; Sinnaray; Elimay; Alis; Akbulak; Küy; Kadisa; Dudaray; Nurgisa; Kuva Bol; Akcayik; Kamila; Kunan.

Personnel: Saadet Türköz: voice; Karsiga Ahmediyar: dombra; Sayan Akmolda: kilkobuz, dombra; Talgat Mushik: sazsirnay, shankobuz, sibizgi; Selim Kerey Sidiyk: dombra; Mamer Rayeskhan: dombra; Almagül Davletkalieva: kilkobuz; Eldar Sapsrayeva: cello. Recorded April, 2005 in Almaty, Kasakhstan and Beijing, China.

Record Label: Intakt Records

Style: Beyond Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.