Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions - Solar Plexus (Nublu Records)

Add Date: 09/25/18
Focus Track: 5, 4, 2, & 6
FCC: Clean
Formats: Chill, College, Specialty & World

Artist Info: Strange times everywhere and life seem faster then ever. Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions suggests you to not get stuck with the “past” and do not over-worry about the “future” and offers you the “music of now”.

Speaking of the power of creativity, it’s in full effect on their new album Solar Plexus which despite its creative daring and occasional spaciness remains surprisingly accessible and engaging. The “cinematic” qualities of the music are not restricted to the song titles which are all inspired by the likes of 2001 and Blade Runner, but they amount to a movie for the mind in which the listener’s ears are the screen upon which (or into which) it’s all being projected.

Frontman Ilhan Ersahin is one of those rare moguls of the New York City underground scene via his club and record label, Nublu, and he’s spread his New York energy throughout the world. It’s possible to see him jamming with The Red Hot Chili Peppers in Sao Paolo, or featuring Bugge Wesseltoft in Blue Note Tokyo or playing a beautiful oriental set with Turkish gypsies in an elegant concert hall somewhere in Europe.

Since 2008 the band has set fire to stages all across the world: from New York to Istanbul, from Paris to Sao Paolo, from London to Skopje. Their electrifying, genre-crossing performance posed questions: Is this really jazz? Doesn’t this sound like a rock band? Where does their sound come from? It’s master-level musicianship meeting high eclecticism where the cliché of “east-to-west crossover” finds it’s true sense and power. A session is a meeting of a deliberative body to conduct its business. In this case, the business is music, and the music is another heavyweight offering from Ilhan and his crew. Above all, the Istanbul Sessions can aptly be described as cinematic.

Their debut (2009) featured French trumpeter Erik Truffaz as a guest. Night Rider, their second release (2012), reflected perfectly their genuine sound in-between dance music and freeform jazz flavored by some ethnic spices. Their third (2015) Istanbul Underground was a perfect summary of night life of never-sleeping metropolis Istanbul (it was also reviewed as their best studio production so far).

Now, they are getting ready to hit their fourth studio album, Solar Plexus, by having wunderkind Dave Harrington (the other half of “Darkside” with Nicolas Jaar) in the co-producer seat, and Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Nils-Petter Molvær, Mauro Refosco, Kenny Wollesen, Erik Truffaz and Brandon Lewis as special guests. The album takes 21st Century music into another eclectic direction where no border or atmosphere can limit the power of the creativity.