| reviews & comments
"Tenor saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin hones a beautifully
dark tone and fetching sense of melody that immediately recalls the glory
Blue Note and Milestone heydays of Joe Henderson. On this alluring set,
Ersahin fronts a supple, proactive trio that's driven by drummer Kenny
Wollesen and bassist Larry Grenadier. Opting for melodic statement rather
than gymnastic prowess, Ersahin's effort is a breath of fresh air from
the polluted blowing dates that now typify many of his generation.
The amazing sense of ease, suspense and empathy on Home
portrays a maturity that's at once daring and aloof. With Wollesen's pristine
cymbal rides and coloring, and Grenadier's wonderfully melodic basslines,
Ersahin has the ideal rhythmic bedding to explore his open-ended composition
with great vigor...
Home is a telling recording of a formidable composer
and saxophonist in the making."
John Murph, JazzTimes, June 1998
All Music Guide REVIEW: Influenced by John Coltrane and
Joe Henderson as well as the music of Turkey (where he grew up) and the
Middle East, Ilhan Ersahin showed a lot of promise on his debut album,
"She Said" -- and at age 31, he lived up to it on his sophomore
effort, "Home". Piano is excluded on this impressive post-bop
offering, and the tenor saxman leads a cohesive acoustic trio with bassist
Larry Grenadier and drummer Kenny Wollesen, both of whom serve him well
on originals ranging from the haunting "Nanda's Dance" and the
dreamy "Life Stories" to the angular "Intimacy." Consistently
soulful, his playing could be considered an example of the jazz/Middle
Eastern connection coming full circle -- Midddle Eastern modal music was
a strong influence on American post-bop explorers like Coltrane and Yusef
Lateef, and in Ersahin, we have an intriguing example of an artist who
lived in Turkey being influenced mainly by American post-boppers. With
"She Said" having come out only in Turkey, "Home"
became Ersahin's first official U.S. release.
Alex Henderson, All Music Guide.
"Not surpising that this hard-core trio would start
off with a Miles tribute - like the trumpeter, they know how to pin the
listener to the wall with lean, no-frills playing. All three are ballsy,
in-your-face players, even on the ballads. Ersahin has that tough, dry
tone that Coltrane developed, but fortunately doesn't use it here to copy
the latter's style. The CD info offers little regarding the group: they
recorded in New York and their management team is in California - maybe
they live in Kansas, though probably not. Bands playing music as thick
as this are a rare find - three bars into a cut and you know that
they've not only ingested a shoveful of Jazz history but have done their
homework developing their own style. Saxophonists, drummers and bassplayers
would all benefit from these guys' lesson in projecting a formidable personality.
Their weighty stuff will be headache material for Jazz neophytes, but
an example of what uncomromising, full-strength Jazz sounds like."
Cadence, The Review of Jazz & Blues: Creative
Improvised Music, February 1998
"Youngster Ilhan Ersahin's Home (Golden Horn) takes
on the classic challenge of the sax/bass/drums trio. The all-original
program proves that Ersahin knows when to explore and when to hang out
in a tasty groove."
FACE Magazine, February 25-March 10, 1998