Danse de Sabres
Cazim Demir & Fahri Koc Uzun Hava (Lavik)
from Music from Turkey LP (Argo, 1961)
While it shouldn't be a surprise any more, I am always taken a bit aback when I stumble upon something that sounds so out there yet so familiar. I pick up records of international music all the time. Some of it indeed sounds foreign to my ears, some of it even sounds extreme. I am used to that. But when a zurna/dawul duo from the mountains of Turkey play something that makes me think of Albert Ayler and the ESP Disk catalog, and that something is a traditional sword dance that predates "free jazz" by at least a hundred years, well, I can do nothing more than thank the heavens for making our ears bend toward such "extremes."
Cazim Demir plays the zurna, a double reed instrument with seven holes. Fahri Koc drums on a dawul, a big, deep sounding drum that resembles a marching band bass drum. This track was recorded in the town of Erzurum in 1961 by Deben Bhattachrya. While the rest of the Music from Turkey LP is not this loud, it has plenty of gems on it and is worth seeking out.
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