JAZZIZ Travel #5: Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol

JAZZIZ Travel is a new podcast series hosted by JAZZIZ online editor Matt Micucci that explores jazz and creative music in all four corners of the globe. In this series, you will hear conversations with artists and people talking about the significance of jazz as an art form, the influence of folk music traditions of different cultures and backgrounds, or simply sharing their thoughts, ideas and insight on their multicultural projects.

Turkish-American GRAMMY-nominated pianist/composer/scholar Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol deepens his singular approach to melding the sonorities of Turkish music with contemporary jazz on his forthcoming LP, An Elegant Ritual, due out July 16 via the DÜNYA label. In our conversation, Sanlıkol talks about the mystical, spiritual qualities that characterize his new full-length, touching on the influence of his Turkish heritage and Sufi mysticism, as well as the prayerful solemnity of such works of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.

An Elegant Ritual is truly a landmark release in Sanlıkol’s discography, also because it is his first-ever piano trio recording. The hold-up, he reveals via a press release, was in part due to “a deep-seated desire to innovate, and say something entirely new in the time-honed format.” Joining him on this new creative venture are James Heazlewood-Dale on acoustic bass and George Lernis on drums, gongs and bendir.

Listen to our podcast conversation with Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol via the player below. An Elegant Ritual is out on July 16 via DÜNYA and you can order it HERE. We also included it in our list of ten new jazz albums out this month (July 2021) that you need to know.

Featured photo by Christo Tsiaras.

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