6

Elif Çağlar: Misfit

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Elif Çağlar: Misfit
Elif Çağlar sure knows how to put together a band. For her sophomore release, this Istanbul-based vocalist—a former pupil of Sheila Jordan—enlisted three modernist luminaries to help light the way: drummer Eric Harland brings his usual rhythmic ingenuity, energy, and play-for-the-song perspective to the production; bassist Harish Raghavan—Harland's bassist of choice for his own Voyager project—is locked in from the get-go, helping the music to pivot, shift, and groove as needed; and pianist Aaron Parks—Harland's band mate in the collective quartet known as James Farm—alternately provides lambent and radiant elements, sturdy chordal foundations, and attractive adornments. Çağlar couldn't have asked for a better trio to work with. Add to that the presence of several guests who heighten the emotion(s) in these songs—İlhan Erşahin on saxophone, İmer Demirer on trumpet, Cenk Erdoğan on guitar—and you have a first-rate lineup to contend with.

Based on that information, those who've read this far are probably wondering if this is a case of a newcomer vocalist riding the coattails of her instrumental companions. It's a fair question or thought given the particulars here, but rest assured, that's not the case. Her shape-shifting and richly-expressive voice—light and sky-bound one minute, darkly complex and soulful the next—has no problem holding its own here. She's a world away from Jordan in terms of tone quality and timbre, but Çağlar clearly learned a lot about fluid and flexible phrasing from her erstwhile teacher. And it's that confidently elastic sense of expression that helps, in part, to sell the music.

Çağlar's song topics run broad and deep, with meditations on love, celebrations of youth, yin-and-yang balance works, and coming-of-age tales all figuring into her vision. Nature and emotion merge in haunting fashion ("Before"), hyper musical happenings help to emphasize a stinging look at modern society folk with blinders on ("Get Out Get Out"), the ups and downs of life come into view ("The Books"), and the elements of surprise and beauty peak around corners. On the surface it may seem like a hodgepodge of subjects thrown into a single space, but Çağlar's ability to weave self-examination into all of these works serves as a through line. She's no misfit. She's an everywoman sharing herself through her music.

Track Listing

You Are Safe; A Misfit; Catch Us If You Can; Before; Get Out Get Out; Follow You; The Books; Grown Up; Man Down; Pieces Of Heaven.

Personnel

Elif Çağlar: vocals; Aaron Parks: piano; Harish Raghavan: acoustic bass; Eric Harland: drums; İlhan Erşahin: saxophone; İmer Demirer: trumpet (8); Cenk Erdoğan: e bow, fretless guitar (7).

Album information

Title: Misfit | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

Watch

Tags

View events near Istanbul
Jazz Near Istanbul
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Read Giulia
Giulia
Francesco Cataldo
Read Rhythm Abstraction: Ruby
Rhythm Abstraction: Ruby
Frank Macchia / Brock Avery
Read Hypnosis
Hypnosis
Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.