Ilhan Ersahin


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Influenced by John Coltrane and Joe Henderson as well as the music of Turkey (where he grew up) and the Middle East, Ilhan Ersahin showed a lot of promise on his debut album, She Said -- and at age 31, he lived up to it on his sophomore effort, Home. Piano is excluded on this impressive post-bop offering, and the tenor saxman leads a cohesive acoustic trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Kenny Wollesen, both of whom serve him well on originals ranging from the haunting "Nanda's Dance" and the dreamy "Life Stories" to the angular "Intimacy." Consistently soulful, his playing could be considered an example of the jazz/Middle Eastern connection coming full circle -- Middle Eastern modal music was a strong influence on American post-bop explorers like Coltrane and Yusef Lateef, and in Ersahin, we have an intriguing example of an artist who lived in Turkey being influenced mainly by American post-boppers. With She Said having come out only in Turkey, Home became Ersahin's first official U.S. release.

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