It is fascinating how different cultures can merge in music. Turkish-born pianist Fahir Atakoglu's trio is a fine example of a group where influences from around the world meet in original compositions that speak the international language of music.
Atakoglu brings his advanced understanding of meter and melody to his compositions and drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez adds a bit of Cuban spice with his rhythms. French-Canadian bassist Alain Caron's creamy electric bass is the final ingredient that gives the music a flavor of fusion, but he also breaks into a walking bass pattern on "Trapped."
Together these three musicians make up a strong and rhythmically vibrant unit and their energy is captured live on the album Live at Umbria.
A composition like "Saturday" is a fine of example of how the trio is capable of bending genres and rhythms at will. A fast lane tune with lightning speed and complicated breaks is suddenly transformed into a slow romantic waltz before the tempo rises again with rolling piano thunder.
The advanced exploration of meter is kept in check by a clear understanding of melody. Atakoglu's music has power and energy and brings to mind the music of Phronesis. It is a wonder how much sound these three musicians can produce, but it is not just about energy. Atakoglu can also be lyrical as the introduction to "Beyoglu" clearly proves.
Passion has many different colors and, ultimately, this music is an affair of the heart. Atakoglu's music does not feel like a construction, but an organic integration of sounds from around the world. True world music.
Track Listing: Beyoglu; Sync-Op; Aheste; Faces; Gypsy In Me; Connection; Black Sea;
ESS; Trapped; Saturday.
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