Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meet the Sultan of Strings...

I first heard guitarist Orhan Demir in the early 90's after I'd read a fascinating review of one of his recordings, Guitar Plus in the Canadian jazz magazine, Coda. The review mentioned that Demir was born in Turkey but now lived in Toronto. It also went on to compare him to Django Reinhardt, Larry Coryell and John McLaughlin. At the time I was totally enthralled by the guitar and knew I just had to have that recording. So, naturally, I searched out Cadence magazine (back in the days when it meant poring over their "centre section" with a magnifying glass). I found the CD listed as well as today's offering, Originals. When they arrived to my home, I put them into the CD player fully expecting to hear an updating of the gypsy jazz genre but I was totally wrong. The music was a fusion of middle eastern melodies, scales and rhythms filtered through a western jazz attitude. It was not jaunty. It was intense. The recording is a collection of material he recorded between 1986 and 1990 and was digitally mastered in 1997. It's released on Demir's own label HITTITE. You can order his CDs here.

All this to say, check this out if you want to hear something unique and exciting.


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