Thursday, February 18, 2010

Timucin Sahin, Rather Fabulous New Guitarist

There is a guitarist out there named Timucin Sahin and he has something going for him. He plays a conventional six-string electric and a seven-string fretless electric, and in either case he has a sound and attack that does not look back so much as look forward.

This can be heard to good advantage on his new album BAFA (Challenge), a quartet date. The music is advanced and the players at the top of their craft. In addition to Sahin there is John O’Gallagher on alto sax, a man with something to say on his horn and the technique and imagination to realize it. He puts together lines that startle and affirm that he knows where he wants to go at any moment. I’ve reviewed some of his own records in the recent past and I must say he impresses me. The rhythm team of Thomas Morgan on bass and Tyshawn Sorey, drums, is right there where they need to be. Sorey has made quite a reputation for himself in his own recordings and with others, and what he does here bears witness to his continued musical importance on the scene.

It is Timucin, though, that especially impresses. His compositions have a currency that is avant garde without being in a shock mode. And his playing is something to hear. Sometimes he seems to be tuning down, or using very lanky strings, so that he gets deep wiry bends that are phrased with seamless momentum, the accent on musical statement. This may also have something to do with the plasticity a fretless guitar affords. Other times he strings together more conventionally articulated phrases that don’t sound like they came from anyone else.

It is tabula rasa time! Sahin's sophisticated harmonic and melodic trajectory puts him among a handful of new guitarists out there who build on the free tradition without copping licks from their forebears.

This is a fine album from a guitarist that might just become a big influence in years to come. He is just marvelous right now, though, so don’t wait until later. Check him out on this album and get in on the ground floor.

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