Nedim Nalbantoğlu - Violin Wizard
- Mixing up influences of Grappelli-esque violin Jazz, Romanian gypsy lautari improvisations and Bulgarian wedding music, L’Odeur du Vent or The Wind’s Scent is the second album by Turkish violin wizard Nalbantoglu. He once again defies pigeon-holing and thus logically follows his diverse musical past exploits that include Bach, classical Ottoman music and a good deal of Charlie Parker. Robert de Brasov, né Jon Faur, built up his accordion chops as a salaried musician in a Romanian truck factory. The fall of the Ceausescu dictatorship allowed him to immigrate to Paris where he’s become the musical director of the Cirque Romanes since. Rounding out the present trio formation is Ginel Negoï on double bass.
- Nedim Nalbantoğlu often referred to as “Violin Wizard” or “Violin Genius”, played the first half of the final gig at Across the Border at Berlin Jazz Festival just before John McLaughlin who played the second half.
- He twice played “Geniuses of Violins Festival” at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London started originally by Yehudi Menuhin.
- He played with his bands throughout the years at festivals worldwide including but not limited to Japan, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, and India.
- Toured worldwide with Johnny Griffin and Toots Thilemans for 3 years.
- He played at France State Jazz Orchestra in Paris for 3 years as the resident chief violinist.
- He was personally invited by Yehudi Menuhin to play at Sorbonne University for his 80th Birthday concert of Yehudi Menuhin who himself was watching concert.
- A main boulevard in Kırklareli city (where he was born) was named after him as Nedim Nalbantoğlu Street.
- Teleram, a French magazine voted his “Müzik Kime Aittir” CD as the “Best Album of the Year”.
- He took standing ovations of 7 minutes at “The Diaghilev Festival” in Russia in 2020.
- His violin with very heritage itself is 300 years old he bought it in 1985 in Paris.
- Given these ingredients, expectant listeners won’t be surprised to encounter breakneck virtuosity nor those strangely moody harmonic progressions that make up Transylvanian Gypsy repertoire. They’ll hope to be romanced with sophisticated Jazz Manouche arpeggios and hard-swinging, body-slapping bass runs. What no familiarity with this musical genre could possibly predict is the diabolically dense, psychically merged level of ensemble playing. It far transcends the actual head count to sound like a much bigger formation.
- The album opens with “Din Dobrogea”, a runaway Cossack fiddle number straight out of Taras Bulba. The following “Figuri“ goes into overdrive with highly virtuosic gypsy-flavored violin-accordion interplay and a modal improvisational bridge by Nalbantoglu that veers into Turkish Taqsim. “Ce-am ubit în viata mea!“ proves that the Blues isn’t peculiar to the Mississippi Delta when Roberto intones a melancholy Romani song above Ginel’s slaphappy limping bass lines. Eventually, Nalbantoglu sidetracks the mood with a slip-slidin’ swingin’ Jazz solo before Roberto remembers his sadness and reprises both lyrics and moody accordion chords.
- “Danse Bulgare” is a fast-driving reel, with the accordion mimicking the rhythm of a cantering horse and Nalbantoglu engaging in the kind of boisterous bow workout that has one flash on horseback hordes practicing their musical prowess in full attack formation. The next trio of tunes shifts scenery into the milieu dominated by Stephane Grappelli. It opens suitably with a dedication, “Pour Grapelli”, a cannily syncopated dedication to that French lion of the Jazz violin. Composed by his Turkish admirer, it receives an injection of dashing muscularity and vigor the elder statesman had early on transcended with the relaxation of sheer elegance.
- “Romance N.” is a wistfully slow, quasi-Musette tune that quivers with that quintessentially French savoir-faire of pouting beauties nursing their javas while waiting for the artiste-de-jour to notice them. “Danse du serpent” ups the seductive subtext, with Nalbantoglu’s violin performing a veritable striptease filled with suggestive flutters, overplayed accents, and note-bending come-hither slurs before the tempo accelerates to drop all pretenses at artful seduction and just runs amok. It then doubles up yet again and turns into outright frenzied acrobatics.
- The title tune “L’Odeur du Vent“ is a gypsified version of an Irish jig while the concluding “Un Beau Souvenir” opens as a showcase for Brasov’s consummate accordion mastery before Nalbantoglu’s violin entry recalls Romanian primases replete with flageolet chirping bird effects and very unconventional blue-note Jazz underpinnings.
- With all this top-notch musicianship, artistic inventiveness, drum-tight ensemble playing, and effervescent showmanship, L’Odeur du Vent will please the musical sophisticate or curious adventurer who habitually favors the road less traveled and only demands that those leading the way promise a good time. Fulfilling this qualifier with a grinning shoulder shrug, this ensemble invites you to dive headfirst into the world of the Balkan Rom and thus partake of their passionate and unrestrained wild ways. It’s one album I keep coming back to time and again. I relish it as one of those masterpieces that withstands repeat scrutiny without wearing out its novelty. I dare hope you’d feel the same.
Peter Sarik Trio feat Nedim Nalbantoğlu-Balkan Blues
Nedim Nalbantoğlu-Balkan Blues
Nedim Nalbantoğlu-Tribute to Stephane Grappelli
Nedim Nalbantoğlu-Scottish Horo
Peter Sarik Trio feat Nedim Nalbantoğlu-Tenor Madness (Sonny Rollins)
Peter Sarik Trio feat Nedim Nalbantoğlu Bela Bartok-Topogo
Peter Sarik Trio feat Nedim Nalbantoğlu: Bach-Air
Peter Sarik Trio feat Nedim Nalbantoğlu - Bach-Cantata, BWV 147, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Peter Sarik Trio feat Nedim Nalbantoğlu: Bela Bartok-Csillagok, Csillagok
Improvisation at Genuine of Violin Festival London-2005
Improvised Jam Session
Festival International De Sousse
Improvised Jam Session-2
Jam Session in Istanbul