Okay Temiz

Drummer of the Two Worlds

Caz Plak • 1980

Turkish percussionist and Don Cherry drummer Okay Temiz was asked in the 1970s: What is Anatolian Jazz? Supposedly, his answer was »Drummer of the Two Worlds«. The kind of answer that can get musicians a free ticket for jail. The album seems inconspicuous as long as you’d only read a structural analysis. It mixes Jazz with Anatolian melodies and rhythms prudently. Its recipe: Take three Swedish musicians, let them dip into familiar piano riffs and bass lines. Spice it up with hand-made drums and Turkish instrument. Let the whole thing seep in hearty 9/8- and 7/8-time signatures. So far, so tasty. But is the »Drummer of the Two Worlds« really like the meatballs you get at Ikea – Scandinavian in attitude, but originally Turkish? Temiz sounds suggests something else. »Drummer of the Two Worlds« is the most whimsical album I’ve heard in a while. By far. Its full of rubbery squeaks, tubby thuds, pipy shrills, and buzzing purrs. I can’t tell if the squealing rhythm of »Penguin« was recorded on instruments, children’s toys or by rubbing two balloons against each other. At times, »Drummer of the Two Worlds« sound as if a whippersnapper had turned driving parents insane into an art form. If this is Turkish Jazz, Turkish Jazz is a joke. And a good one at that. In all likelihood, I won’t return to »Drummer of the Two Worlds« often. But when I do, it’s going to be with a wide grin.