191

Mark Alban Lotz: Istanbul Improv Sessions May 5th

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Istanbul Improv Sessions May 5th is an apt, if rather prosaic, title for this collection of improvisations, all of which were recorded in one day during 2010 in Istanbul. The leader and producer of the sessions is flautist Mark Alban Lotz, a German-born resident of Holland with over a dozen albums to his name. Lotz' collaborators all come from the Istanbul improvisation scene which, on the evidence of this album, seems to be full of invention, ability and humor.

Lotz is an emphatic presence across all ten tracks, with the other musicians joining him in an array of combinations from duets to sextets. This variation in lineups helps to ensure an ever-shifting set of moods and sounds. There's the almost laugh-out-loud humor of "Soroaster" and Roland Kirk tribute "R.R.K Rahasaan" both featuring Michael Hays on bass and some uncredited vocalizing, the tensions of "North Star" or "Ursuppe," and the light-heartedness of "Animal Rites" with its mix of Alexandre Toisoul's clarinet, Lotz' flute and Can Ömer Uygan's trumpet.

Much of the contrast in mood is due to the use of effects and electric guitar to create tension and mystery—Umut Çağlar's rasping, metallic, guitar makes parts of "Küsendem" and "Open Air Party" genuinely unsettling. The improvisations that are wholly performed on acoustic instruments are generally lighter and more welcoming. "Dr. No" is the exception: a spacious duet on which Lotz' hard-toned flute and Florent Merlet's sparse percussion set up an almost threatening atmosphere.

Lotz's Bite! (LopLop Records, 2009) was inspired by fish. While this album sports a similar fish-related cover design, the music has no such inspiration, but it's filled with inventive improvisations nonetheless. At times troubling, at others funny and warm, the music on Istanbul Improv Sessions May 5th has impressive depth and richness.

Track Listing: North Star; Animal Rites; R.R.K. Rahasaan; Ursuppe; Küsendem; Dr. No; Open Air Party; Friction; Sintactics; Soroaster.

Personnel: Mark Alban Lotz: piccolo, c-flute, alto-flute, bass-flute, prepared flute; Alexandre Toisoul: clarinet (2, 4, 5, 7-9); Can Ömer Uygan: trumpet, analog effects (1, 2, 4, 5, 7-9); Umut Çağlar: electric guitar, analog effects (1, 4, 5, 7-9); Michael Hays: bass (3, 8-10); Florent Merlet: drums (6, 8-10).

Title: Istanbul Improv Sessions May 5th | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: LopLop Records

About Mark Alban Lotz
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Watch

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read The People I Love
The People I Love
By Mark Corroto
Read Drone Dream
Drone Dream
By John Sharpe
Read Uppsala 1971
Uppsala 1971
By Chris Mosey
Read Traslaciones
Traslaciones
By Jack Bowers
Read La Proxima
La Proxima
By Dan McClenaghan
Read Combobulated
Combobulated
By John Sharpe