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Bilge Gunaydin: Daydreams

Bruce Lindsay By

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Bilge Gunaydin: Daydreams
Turkish pianist, keyboard player, composer and arranger Bilge Günaydin showcases her talents on Daydreams, her debut release. It's an impressive first outing for the young musician—stylistically wide-ranging, moving from laid-back melody to drama and mystery, and beautifully performed by the musicians.

"Inception" is a relaxed, melodic album opener—smooth without being bland, immediately engaging and providing space for each musician to showcase their abilities—bassist Apostolos Sideris adds an arco solo notable both for its slightly rasping tone and its melodic sensibility, while the leader mixes piano and subtly understated keyboard playing. "Snow" is in a similar vein, the tempo a little faster and the tonal range enhanced by the wordless vocal and scat of Esra Kayikçi. "Summer" brings the trio of gently melodic tunes to a close, its highlight Günaydin's solo on acoustic piano.

It is all change for "Üvercinka Intro": Günaydin recites Cemal Süreya's poem, "Üvercinka," over a freeform instrumental backing featuring Sideris' arco bass. The track flows neatly into the swing of "Üvercinka," one of two tunes to feature Cenk Erdogan's fretless guitar. Another change in mood brings "İstanbulin Cats"; whether the cats are feline or hep isn't clear, but the tune shifts enjoyably from the three-way interplay between saxophones and fretless guitar to a calmer phase focussed on electric keys before ending with more guitar.

Yet another alteration in mood brings an unsettlingly atmospheric tune, "People In Black." At this number's beginning is a repeated ten-note staccato phrase from tenor and alto saxophones. The phrase hints at something dangerous about the people of the title, before the saxophones loosen up and the mood brightens, then the phrase returns and once again the tune takes on a more mysterious quality. The cheering mood of the first three tracks returns on "Left Hander" and the pretty "Cycles," a tune led by Tamer Temel on soprano sax: they serve as a reminder of Günaydin's ear for a light and pretty melody. Full of imagination, varied moods and emotions, and stylish performances, Daydreams is a welcome debut from a fine new artist.

Track Listing

Inception; Snow; Summer; Uvercinka Intro; Uvercinka; Istanbulin Cats; People In Black; Left Hander Intro; Left Hander; Cycles.

Personnel

Bilge Gunaydin: piano; Serhan Erkol: saxophone, alto; Tamer Temel: saxophone; Kagan Yildiz: bass; Apostolos Sideris: bass, acoustic; Berke Ozgumus: drums; Cenk Erdogan: guitar; Esra Kayikci: voice / vocals.

Album information

Title: Daydreams | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: ADA Muzik

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