This debut American recording of Turkish tenor saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin is an impressive post-bop offering featuring Larry Grenadier and drummer Kenny Wollesen. “Ersahin has that tough, dry tone that [John] Coltrane developed” (Cadence). This album’s “all-original program proves that Ersahin knows when to explore and when to hang out in a tasty groove” (Face Magazine).

Ilhan Ersahin


Genre: Jazz.


1. Selim 5:29
2. My Mind 2:12
3. Home 8:14
4. Nanda’s Dance 5:08
5. Earth Song 7:47
6. Hymn For Katta 1:52
7. Lullaby To You 5:07
8. Zem Zem 5:30
9. Life Stories 5:59
10. Remarks 4:35
11. Intimacy 5:03


  • Ilhan Ersahin (tenor saxophone)
  • Larry Grenadier (bass)
  • Kenny Wollesen (drums)

All compositions by Ilhan Ersahin, Tatu Music (SESAC)

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."

Dave McElfresh
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.”

Steve Feeney
FACE Magazine, February 25-March 10, 1998