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Country : United States Label : New Focus Recordings / Panoramic Genres and styles : Contemporary Jazz / Jazz Year : 2022

Timuçin Şahin – Funk Poems for Bird

· by Frédéric Cardin

If the most outstanding tributes to Charlie ”Bird” Parker formed a trilogy, we would have, in order, Anthony Braxton’s Charlie Parker Project, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls and, now, Timuçin Şahin’s Funk Poems for Bird. With Cory Smythe on piano, Reggie Washington on bass and Sean Rickman on drums, Şahin forms Flow State.

Flow State, the name of the band, sums up the organic, metamorphic nature of Şahin’s tribute to Parker with this album. A fluid parkour with constantly changing facets and interpenetration of influences that would not have displeased the master creator of Bebop. Scholarly and improvised music intertwine in a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

There is the atonalism of 20th-century classical modernity (Varèse is cited in the booklet, but I also think of Ives and Ligeti), Bird’s bop, of course, Steve Coleman’s M-Base adventure, and funk (Şahin names Bird and James Brown as major influences in his life), woven, triturated, inter-grafted, and distilled into something unique that appeals to the serious and committed music lover. Parker calls for this: in constant search of evolution, he fed on tradition while embracing the sometimes radical modernity of the musical multiverse of his time (he was said to be a great admirer of Edgar Varèse).

The figure of alto saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker (1920-1955) is special: uniquely gifted, uniquely influential, uniquely troubled, he heard more future in the past, and pulled more of both into the present, than anyone else, before or since.

  • J. Martin Daughtry, album’s notes

Şahin’s often restless guitar swishes excitedly over a near-constant drum’n’bass/funky floor. Sean Rickman and Reggie Washington, two regulars on Steve Coleman’s M-Base, create an elastic rhythmic tapestry over which Smythe sprouts abstract, spontaneous piano inflorescences. A constantly quivering kaleidoscope is embodied as we are invited to be caught up in the ebb and flow of this passionate homage.

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