Monday Recommendation: Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, What’sNext? (Dünya)

Sanlikol, WhatsNextUsing orchestral techniques that stem in part from his early training as a classical pianist, Sanlikol blends aspects of music of his native Turkey and of Arabic countries into contemporary jazz. A graduate of the Berklee School of Music and the New England Conservatory, he studied arranging with Bob Brookmeyer, whose influence is one ingredient in Sanlikol’s eclecticism; the audacious “On the Edge of the Extreme Impossible” is a dramatic instance. “Gone Crazy: A Noir Fantasy” would be perfect in the background of a remake of The Maltese Falcon. Despite exotic ingredients—notably Sanlikol’s impassioned vocalise and full-bodied piano in “A Violet Longing”—the music is superior big band jazz flavored with intriguing undercurrents flowing out of the Middle East, and a few synthesizer and guitar touches. It is well played by Boston-area members of Sanlikol’s Dünya musicians’ collective.

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