266

Yinon Muallem: Klezmer for the Sultan

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Yinon Muallem: Klezmer for the Sultan Israeli percussionist Yinon Muallem, whose main expertise is Middle Eastern percussion instruments such as the darbuka, def, bendir, and the Iranian zarb, decided three years ago to pursue his career in Turkey. It was a wise decision. In Istanbul, Muallem continued to refine his style under the direction of one of Turkey's foremost oud player, Yurdal Torkan, and soon joined one of the leading instrumental ensembles of Turkey, the Istanbul Sazendeleri.

Muallem's second disc, Klezmer for the Sultan (after Changing Moments, Magda, 2003), was recorded in Turkey and in Israel under the musical direction of Torkan, with members of the Istanbul Sazendeleri and Muallem's former Israeli colleagues. Muallem managed to synthesize influences from traditional Turkish music, Sufi music, gypsy music, klezmer music, and even glimpses of Balkan and Indian music into a mature, convincing, and cohesive musical statement.

In the title tune Muallem cleverly fuses a piece from the repertoire of one of the forefathers of klezmer music, clarinetist Naftule Brandewin, "Fun Tashlikh" (recorded in the 1920s), with a Turkish dance from the time of the Ottoman Empire. The slow opening Eastern European klezmer part, led by Israeli clarinetist Eyal Sela, melts naturally into the faster Turkish part, led by Turkish clarinetist Serkan Çağrı, who improvises on a 9/8 rhythm which is typical to Turkish gypsy music. "Heavy Drops" mourns the terror attacks on Istanbul, when "the raindrops were much heavier," as Muallem writes in his liner notes, and features the meditative ney playing of Israeli Itamazr Shahar and the vocal improvisation of Selim Güler. "Spanish Girl" references gently themes from the Sephardic Jewish Ladino tradition.

"The Tale" features Muallem for the first time as a sensitive oud player, accompanied by his teacher, Tokcan, and the sensual vocals of Sumru Agiryürüyen, who delivers the lyrics of Ercümend Behazat Lav beautifully. "Triangle" is a piece for percussion, bass guitar, and tabla which moves swiftly between 5/4 and 4/4 rhythms. The closing piece, "Unlimited," is dedicated to the gypsy soul as Muallem interprets it; it features a brilliant violin improvisation, Taksim, by Baki Kemanci, and sums up Muallem's captivating command of these close traditions of music.

Track Listing: Chaos--Kaos; Klezmer for the Sultan--Sultan i

Personnel: Yinon Muallem: darbuka, bass darbuka, def, bendir, wooden spoons, kanjira, shakers, zils, erbane, udu, oud, effects; Yurdal Tokcan: oud; G

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Oriente Musik | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Troy Collins
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Ripple" CD/LP/Track Review Ripple
by Bob Kenselaar
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "You'll See" CD/LP/Track Review You'll See
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!