Boomkat Product Review:
Heavy spiritual jazz blast from legendary Turkish keys player and band leader Hüseyin Ertunç and his Sextet. Comparable to Cecil Taylor and Jaki Byard
“We consider ourselves extremely fortunate having met Hüseyin Ęrtunc during his terrestrial transit. After we reissued his wonderful album Mûsikî (privately released on Intex Sound in 1974) and a few collaborative albums with the Konstrukt collective, in 2017 we finally managed to invite him, Doğan Doğusel, Cem Tan and Umut Çağlar to play some shows in Italy as a quartet. Things got really complicated when their visas got rejected - one week before their plane was scheduled to take off - but we found a stalwart supporter of free jazz music at the phone when we contacted the Italian Embassy with a tiny bit of hope and (incredibly) we got the visas in time so we could spend a whole week with Hüseyin and his band, touring Italy and playing four shows of the best spiritual free jazz we heard in a long while.
Right after that, we took the chance to book a recording session at the good old Outside Inside Studio where our loyal partner Matt Bordin captured on tape two days of improvisation by Hüseyin Ęrtunc (Fender Rhodes electric piano, Philicorda organ and chant), Umut Çağlar (percussion and bamboo flutes), Doğan Doğusel (double bass), Cem Tan (drums), joined for this special occasion by the Jooklos Virginia Genta (tenor and sopranino saxophones, clarinet, flutes), and David Vanzan (percussion) leaving an incredible musical document, not only for the fact that - unfortunately - it was Hüseyin's last session on this world.
"Most of Ertunç’s recorded appearances have been on drum set, where he’s employed a massive and materialist cymbal approach that takes Sunny Murray’s explosive chatter as a lifting-off point. Ertunç waxed one LP as a leader in 1974, Mûsikî (with then-regular partners Michael Cosmic and Phill Musra, issued on the tiny Intex label), and returned to Turkey in the early 1990s. Ertunç’s playing, relentless as it might be, evinces a strident, swinging quality that reaches back decades. His pianistic approach is rooted in the outpouring of voluminous, allover rhythm in concentrated shards. One might first think of early Cecil Taylor, though another Boston resident is also worth mentioning – Jaki Byard, who could move from barrelhouse to crepuscular romanticism and dense chordal superimpositions at the drop of a hat. If he and Ertunç didn’t necessarily work together, their spirits are kindred." (Clifford Allen)”