Mustafa Kandirali: master of the Turkish clarinet
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Mustafa Kandirali: master of the Turkish clarinet
Uzelli, Turkey / Traditional Crossroads, US (

Legendary Turkish clarinetist Mustafa Kandirali is one of those artists who, at least here in North America, has a reputation that has always preceded him. Finally, we get the real deal, in a beautiful book and CD set that finally brings this master musician to our shores.

Ussak Taksim
(solo, excerpt)
Kandirali's Gypsy background lends him an immediate global outlook, and his undeniable skill on the instrument gives him the tool he needs to execute it. But he is not limited to any one genre. He has clearly absorbed a lifetime of jazz, Turkish and western popular music as well as the myriad styles of traditional folk music of Turkey, and he has developed an improvisational bent that is on par with any of the great American jazz men, with flourishes and attacks that would rival Miles Davis' or John Coltrane's adventures in sonic experimentation.

Which is not to say he mimics any of his influences. The end result of this international background is a decidedly unique Turkish music, whether it is a traditional taksim, a çiftetelli (belly dance), a Gypsy song or a soaring original composition/improvisation. As an artist, he is an original, bending, twisting and reinventing his instrument in ways not heard before in Turkey (or elsewhere). Supporting this is a crack collection of influential musicians going back to the 1950s, on instruments including percussion, violin, kanun, reeds, accordion, bass and ud, all of whom are brought into his adventurous ways and do some remarkable things on their own instruments, as well.

Whether it is a soaring, sliding clarinet solo or a semi-orchestral work, these 15 tracks present a history of one of Turkey's most influential musicians. The whole thing is expertly remastered from a lifetime of Kandirali's recordings, and packaged in a limited-edition hard-cover book to celebrate his 75th birthday in 2006, with 100 pages of comprehensive historical notes by Melih Duygulu and reminiscences from some of his friends and collaborators like Selim Sesler and Burhan Oçal, in Turkish and English translation. - CF

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cd cover

Modern Anadol

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