Andrei Kondakov piano
Onur Aymergen guitar
Tolga Bilgin trumpet
Ozan Musluoğlu bass
Aleksandr Bozhenko drums
Release No: LOS 235-2
Tracks 1, 2, 8 composed by Onur Aymergen
Track 3 composed by Ozan Musluoğlu
Track 4 composed by Tolga Bilgin
Tracks 5, 7, 9 composed by Andrei Kondakov
Track 6 composed by Alexandr Bozhenko
Track 10 composed by Walter Spriggs
Recorded October 2018, by Sinan Sakızlı, Can Aykal and Ceylan Akçar at Hayyam Studios, Istanbul, Turkey
Mixed October 2019 by Tuna Boylu at Studio No 25, Izmir, Turkey
Mastered November 7, 2019 by Emre Yazgın at Re-Chord Studios, Cyprus
Produced by Onur Aymergen
Front cover photo by Kjersti Holst
The band Nevi, meaning ‘variety’, was founded in 2018 and plays music with influences from contemporary jazz, classical and world music. A superb outfit consisting of hugely talented musicians/composers, Nevi offer here a roller- coaster ride of immeasurably enjoyable music. So, strap yourself in and have a good trip!
Palm muted guitar riff beckons bass; percussion and piano join in and a clean, sonorous horn in unison with the guitar play the theme and we’re off – to Africa! Solos abound over the captivating 6/8 pulse before a return to the intro.
Idea is a contemplative ballad, based around a repeated note on piano encircled by a lovely chord sequence and features the mastery of Andrei’s piano playing. The delicacy of his touch is simply exquisite. Tolga follows with an emotionally stated solo, his tone (throughout the album) is rounded and resounding and his measured, assured note choice is a delight to hear.
Requiem for KC has a mildly Latin feel and revolves around an ostinato riff. It provides a vehicle for Ozan with his ever-sturdy, ever-resonant bass, which introduces a series of short band solos.
Entering the Bar opens with a jazz-funk vibe and leads to a middle passage highlighting riveting trumpet, guitar/drum and piano solos. Aleksandr, percussion personified, takes the opportunity to showcase his superb technique.
Hollywood is a peaceful ballad featuring trumpet and piano solos. Soul-soothing music performed with grace and grandeur.
Orka has a distinctive, Metheny-esque theme (charmingly restated vocally towards the end of the piece) and is played in a rolling tempo. Attractive interplay and solos pervade this noteworthy track.
Let’s Go is a perfect example of how the effortlessly the band switch between jazz and light funk. A cool bass/drum groove paves the way for tremendous soloing ending with a driving and dynamic statement from Aleksandr.
Bicycle is a harmonically rich ballad sparsely defined by bass and brushes. The trumpet and piano solos are impressively illustrative.
Hidden Emotion is an enchanting and appropriately titled piece and serves as a fine channel for Onur’s thorough musicianship.
An engaging version of You Don’t Know What Love Is (Don Raye/de Paul) is akin to a sound bath. The music ‘washes’ over you as you relax and enjoy the journey. It is an excellent finale to an excellent album.
Apart from their Russian pianist, the band members are all from Turkey.
Andrei Kondakov is an eminent, award-winning Russian pianist, composer and bandleader. A graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, he has toured the world extensively with his own groups, as well as leading many international projects involving such jazz celebrities as Bobby McFerrin, Eddie Gomez, David Sanchez and Randy Brecker.
Trumpet player Tolga Bilgin graduated from Turkey’s Dokuz Eylül University State Conservatory consequently working with the İzmir State Opera and Ballet. He achieved his Masters degree at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Torino during which time he performed with among many others, Eric Reed and Flavio Boltro.
Onur Aymergen began his professional career playing classical guitar, classical Flamenco and later became interested in Rock, Funk and Jazz music. He works in a variety of styles. He recently wrote his thesis on Turkish Maqam Harmony and is currently composing for several jazz-related projects.
Bassist Ozan Muslugolu studied at Bilgi University Music Department from 2000 with full a scholarship attending workshops by Marc Johnson, David Friesen and many others. He toured the world with the renowned band ‘Athena’, In 2011 his second album ’40th Day’ was released with a lineup that included Jeremy Pelt (named trumpet player of the year 5 consecutive times by Downbeat magazine).
Aleksandr Bozhenko first played piano from the age of six and switched to drums a year later, eventually studying at the Rostov College of Arts in Russia. An award-winning musician, he has collaborated with artists such as Kevin Mahogany, Bobby Martinez and Anatoly Kroll. He has travelled extensively, performing in Italy, USA and China.