Lineup features: Mehmet Ali Sanlikol: conduction and multiple instruments; Dave Liebman: soprano saxophone; Anat Cohen: clarinet; Tiger Okoshi: trumpet: Antonio Sanchez: drums.
Turkish-born Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, a Grammy-nominated composer, vocalist, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist based in Boston, has been getting wide recognition through his palpitating fusion of modern jazz and world music.
His new installment with the project Whatsnext?, whose new additions include Dave Liebman, Anat Cohen, Tiger Okoshi and Antonio Sanchez, is now out and fully grown to conquer more listeners.
Sanlikol demonstrates his true value when he puts together a 13-piece jazz combo and a 17-piece big band, and makes them sound amazingly articulated.
The opening title, “The Turkish 2nd Line”, is a glorious concoction that besides Ottoman influences has the New Orleans scene in perspective. Driven by electric guitar and embellished by the horns, it makes transitions into funk, reggae, and a pleasurable swinging jazz that serves as a vehicle for Anat Cohen’s dashing improvisation on clarinet.
“A Dream in Nihavend” is an appealing vocalized lament conducted by sparse piano harmonies, but Sanlikol’s sublime compositional character and stylistic vision are much more in evidence throughout the three-part “Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Jazz Orchestra in C”. The first part, “Rebellion” is a medium funk shuffle that expands its horizons by stepping onto a catchy crossover jazz; the part two, entitled “Reminiscence”, is a soulful ballad that flows serenely at the sound of Mr. Liebman’s delightful melodies while occasionally exhibiting guitar/piano fillings; and the part three runs up-tempo and swings with aplomb.
In turn, “The Niyaz Suite” is subdivided into two movements. The first savors the eminent Antonio Sanchez exhibiting his consistent drumming skills, just before a floating dance of woodwinds takes the lead. The stimulating second one works as a showcase for the trumpeter Tiger Okoshi who draws a portentous solo.
Filled with intoxicating driving pulses, exotic timbres, and film noir music influences, these nine eclectic and well-orchestrated pieces are Resolution, a powerful and urgent album.
01 – The Turkish 2nd Line ► 05 – Reminiscence ► 08 – An Afro Semai