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Murat Ozturk Trio (France) - 2002 - "Soyle"
(52 min, "Great Winds", a division of Musea Records)

1. Apocalypso 6:33
2. Tate Topa 5:35
3. Soyle 6:35
4. Going To Off Mode 7:04
5. Equilibre 3:44
6. Soho Song 7:12
7. Je demain 6:20
8. Opus 9 No 2 7:44

All music by M. Ozturk, except 8 by F. Chopin.


Murat Ozturk (ex-J. P. Boffo) - piano & keyboards
Jacques Vidal (ex-Magma) - double-bass guitar
Jean-Francois Robin - drums & percussion

Guest musicians:

Eric Barret - saxophone (on tracks 2 & 4)
Marcel Azzola - accordion (on 5)

Produced by Murat Ozturk & Jean-Pascal Boffo.
Engineered by J. P. Boffo at his own studio.

Prologue. "Soyle" is the debut album by Murat Ozturk. However, this is already a well-known pianist in France, who formerly worked with various bands and performers, including the best Solo Pilot of French Progressive, Jean-Pascal Boffo.

The Album. Remember the wonderful "Great Winds" album composed by Zao's Francois Cahen and performed by him along with Miroslav Vitous (of Weather Report) and Michel Seguin (also of Zao)? Murat Ozturk Trio's "Soyle" is of the same stylistic category, though, of course, musically, this album is also original and in many ways unique. As well as in the case of "Great Winds", most of the compositions on "Soyle" are about such a kind of Jazz-Fusion that consists of textures typical for both of Jazz and Classical Academic Music or vice versa. To be precise, symphonic structures slightly prevail over those of jazz on Apocalypso and Soyle (tracks 1 & 3). Quite the contrary, jazz-like improvisational jams slightly dominate over thoroughly composed interplay between soloing instruments on Tate Topa, Going To Off Mode, and Equilibre (2, 4, & 5). Unlike both of the aforementioned pieces consisting mostly of slow and delicate arrangements by the trio, these three compositions are highly intensive. Performed for the most part up-tempo, the first two of them feature the 'guest' solos of saxophone, and Equilibre those of accordion. All of the 'guest' solos are not only highly virtuosi, but also play a prominent role in the arrangements on each of these tracks. Though, of course, various interplay between passages of piano and solos of double-bass guitar, which has quite a unique sound, are here also outstanding (as well as throughout the album, though). The parts of drums are very diverse and quite powerful everywhere where they are. And they are everywhere on the album, except for Soho Song, which, along with Je demain and Opus 9 No 2 (7 & 8), I am going to describe right now. Surprisingly, all three of these last tracks on the album are almost completely free of improvisations. The style of Je demain, with its quite harsh arrangements based on the aggressive 'attacks' of double-bass, powerful and hypnotizing drumming, and tense, yet, always different symphonic passages of piano, can't be defined differently than a unique blend of progressive Hard Rock and Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Classical Music. Soho Song, performed without drums (only cymbals are sometimes heard here) and consisting of continuously developing interplay between passages of piano and solos of double bass, represents a unique manifestation of Classical Music. There also are only a few of the drum parts (all of which, moreover, are quite silent) on the rendition of Frederic Chopin's Opus 9 No 2, which is certainly a piece of Classical Music as well.

Summary. What's noteworthy is that on "Soyle", unlike of most of the other 'Jazz-Fusion-trio' albums, all six of the pieces with mixed textures: Apocalypso, Tate Topa, Soyle, Going To Off Mode, Equilibre, and Je demain (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 7), are filled with such truly Progressive Rock features as frequent changes of tempo, tone and, often, mood, complex stop-to-play movements done with the use of unusual meters, etc. Indeed, all of this, as well as the presence of the two excellent pieces of Classical Music on this album, not to mention the unique (just marvelous!) manifestation of progressive Hard Fusion, makes the release of "Soyle" a really significant event within the framework of this genre.

VM. October 18, 2002

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