Turkish jazz pianist Görsev pays tribute to Bill Evans
The latest album by Kerem Görsev, ‘To Bill Evans,’ consists of seven compositions by himself. RADİKAL photo, Muhsin AKGÜN
Turkish jazz pianist and artist Kerem Görsev recorded his latest album, “To Bill Evans,” on March 12-13, 2013, in Prague. The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied the artist for the album with Kağan Yıldız on bass and Ferit Odman on drums. The album consists of seven compositions by Görsev, all of which were arranged by Alan Broadbent, who also conducted the orchestra for the recording. Batu Akyol and his team, Loyka productions filmed and photographed the sessions.
Görsev began his adventure in music at the age of six when he started studying piano at the classical music conservatory in Istanbul. He continued his musical education at the Istanbul State Conservatory for 12 years until he started to play jazz. His first admiration was for Parker and Miles. Besides this, he has always liked bop and bebop music. This influence has been persistent throughout his professional life. Kerem Görsev never fails to mention how good he feels when listening to Bill Evans. That’s why he decided to dedicate his new album to Bill Evans. In a recent interview with daily Radikal, Görsev spoke to Umut Eroğlu and said Evans was like a light to him. He added he had decided to get married while he was listening to Bill Evans.
Görsev was recognized as a talented composer and pianist, when he has started his recording with his first album “Hands and Lips” in 1994. Since then, he has produced a total of 13 albums of his own. In his albums, he has explored a wide spectrum – ranging from his duo albums featuring American jazz standards to his orchestral album called “November in St. Petersburg,” which consists of his own compositions and was recorded with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In between lie Gorsev’s other albums recorded in the more traditional, classical jazz trio or quintet formats.
Being a talented artist on the stage also, Görsev says that for him the stage is a place to tell new stories. Görsev always stood behind what he believed and that’s how he has received his achievements and success.
Görsev has given many performances in Turkey and abroad since the early days of his career. In the past 10 years, he has performed at various festivals, university concerts and organizations in many cities in addition to Istanbul including Trabzon, Antalya, Malatya, Isparta, Bodrum, Çeşme, Manisa and İzmir as well as international performances in Baku, Vilnius, Copenhagen, Muenster, Coesfeld, Stuttgart, Islamabad, Cyprus, Vienna, and Bologna.
Turkey and jazz music
According to Görsev, jazz in Turkey is not a common music genre. “The best thing to do is to explain to people that jazz is a music, which has a soul and a philosophy.”
Görsev said in the same interview that there were many good jazz musicians in Turkey such as Uraz Kıvaner, Burak Bedikyan, Kürşat Deniz. As a tenor saxophone player, Engin Recepoğulları is a perfect musician, he said.
Kaan Yıldız, Ozan Musluoğlu, Volkan Topakoğlu, Ferit Odman, Elif Çağlar Muslu, Ece Göksu, Selen Beytekin are among the best names who represent Turkish jazz, according to the musician.
Görsev said children should begin by listening to classic music such as Vivaldi, Schubert and Mendelssohn. “First they have to listen to the composers and know the instruments. To raise a generation who know music is very important for the culture and the future of the country,” he added.
Görsev also likes to play with musicians and cooperate with them on his albums. In “Therapy,” which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with London Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Alan Broadbent included musicians such as Ernie Watts (tenor saxophone), Kağan Yıldız (doublebass), Ferit Odman (drums).
Görsev also recorded two trio projects, “Orange Juice” and Diversion” in 2005 and 2009 respectively. He has also recorded and released a duo album with Allan Harris in 2007 called “Back Again.”