Turkish vocalist and now a resident of Zurich, Switzerland, Saadet Turkoz aligns her talents with members of the Euro-Jazz scene and American guitar whiz Elliot Sharp for a series of duets on Marmara Sea
Enamored with appealing artwork, featuring abstract color photographs, text and lyrics, Ms. Turkoz vocalizes and chants through a mixed bag of Turkish folks songs, poems, love songs, a traditional “Kazakh” wedding ceremony amid other indigenous themes. And while the artist possesses a crystalline voice and an altogether impressive vocal range, some of these duets simply seem to clash as the proverbial oil and water analogy takes it toll and detracts from the overall effect. On the predominately cacophonous duets with electric guitarist and EFX expert Elliot Sharp, we are treated to an assortment of oscillating crosscurrents and digital loops in concert with Ms. Turkoz’ plaintive cries and sonorous incantations. However, the vocalist’s duets with cellist Martin Schutz, saz, Ud performer Burhan Ocal and the great bassist Joelle Leandre lend a bit more to the believability factor; although, at times, even some of these pairings present a few sonic conflicts. Basically, this reviewer would welcome an opportunity to hear Ms. Turkoz performing within a more appropriate context as Marmara Sea dutifully highlights here magnificent vocal gifts. Otherwise, the counterbalancing improvisations do little more than provide atonal qualities to the artist’s often captivating renderings of ethnocentric themes and motifs.