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ISTANBUL SESSIONS w/ Alp Ers​ö​nmez, Turgut Alp Beko​ğ​lu, İzzet K​ı​z​ı​l

by Ilhan Ersahin, Istanbul Sessions

Etnik 03:27
Night Rider 05:34
Black Sea 03:26
Nirvana 04:56
Birds 03:36
One Zero 04:10
Huzur 04:11


“…a highly distinctive new sound that connects the dense modal funk of Miles Davis’ Agartha group with the dervish whirl of Turkish and middle-eastern melodies and spikes it with a potent shot of dub electronics.”
— Jazzwise Magazine
“Hear this! Jazz has changed form”
– Le Monde

In the grand continuum of the ever progressing Nublu Sound, acclaimed saxophonist and composer Ilhan Ersahin presents Night Rider, the second album from his internationally praised Istanbul Sessions project. Founder of Nublu Records and the renowned East Village nightclub of the same name, Ersahin again brings together the sounds of east and west to produce something new and vital, further perfecting a style first introduced with Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions with Erik Truffaz. Now recording as a quartet, Istanbul Sessions’ Night Rider combines Ersahin’s free-form avant-jazz riffs skillfully and seamlessly with the exotically flavored grooves conjured by Istanbul bassist Alp Ersonmez, drummer Turgut Alp Bekoglu, and percussionist Izzet Kizil to dazzling effect.

“Our aim is to play what we’re living and for us this album is sort of an explanation of the nightlife of Istanbul,” says Ersahin.

Born of a Swedish mother and Turkish father, Ersahin’s ties to Istanbul were established early on. For the last 15 years he has traveled there regularly, playing gigs with local artists, absorbing the atmosphere and interpreting it through his own unique musical lens. He formed Istanbul Sessions with Ersonmez, Bekoglu, and Kizil four years ago for an art event. The sound they created together worked so well that they went on to perform at a variety of prestigious stages worldwide including Banlieues Bleues (Paris), Bimhuis (Amsterdam), Quasimodo (Berlin), Summerstage (New York), Rock N Coke (Istanbul), Akbank Jazz Festival (Istanbul), A38 (Budapest), Dock des Suds (Marseille), MITO (Torino), and eventually recording their first release last year. Night Rider is a perfect example of the magic that can happen when the best of cultures meet and something of elusive wonder is created.

This is New York City’s East Village meets late-night Istanbul. Each song is a revelation of organic composition, birthed from the sometimes all-night sessions in the clubs of Istanbul, and together they create a series of comfortably loose, but perfectly deep vibes that melt the listener into a state of nocturnal delirium. Jump in and take a midnight ride with Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions.

Here’s what critics have to say:

“The music of Istanbul Sessions is formidable renewal of today’s jazz. Can we call it jazz? Yes, This music performed with
the energy of rock sound where you can find many influences like Miles Davis of 70’s or turkish percussions. They are good
representative of 2010’s jazz : open to the world, passionate and fascinating.”

– Patrick Duval, director of Musiques de Nuit

“Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions, proceeded to show a seen-it-all-before crowd of European jazz festival promoters, club owners
and media just how you can excite and grab a new audience by the scruff of its neck without compromising the integrity of the
music, or intensity of improvisation. Swedish/Turkish musician, has conjured a highly distinctive new sound that connects the
dense modal funk of Miles Davis’ Agartha group with the dervish whirl of Turkish and middle-eastern melodies and spikes it
with a potent shot of dub electronics.


released November 22, 2011

Ilhan Ersahin - tenor saxophone
Alp Ersönmez - bass
Turgut Alp Bekoğlu - drums
İzzet Kızıl - percussion


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Ilhan Ersahin New York, New York

In the most simple and direct terms, Ilhan Ersahin can be described as a saxophone instrumentalist, composer, music producer, club owner, jazz festival curator, and proprietor of his own record label. Broad as that may sound, it does little to explain who Ersahin truly is and what defines him as a musician. ... more

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