Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Ilhan Ersahin: Home

Tenor saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin hones a beautifully dark tone and fetching sense of melody that immediately recalls the glory Blue Note and Milestone heydays of Joe Henderson. On this alluring set, Ersahin fronts a supple, proactive trio that’s driven by drummer Kenny Wollesen and bassist Larry Grenadier. Opting for melodic statement rather than gymnastic prowess, Ersahin’s effort is a breath of fresh air from the polluted blowing dates that now typify many of his generation.

The amazing sense of ease, suspense and empathy on Home portrays a maturity that’s at once daring and aloof. With Wollesen’s pristine cymbal rides and coloring, and Grenadier’s wonderfully melodic basslines, Ersahin has the ideal rhythmic bedding to explore his open-ended composition with great vigor. On the title track, which suspiciously sounds like Jack DeJohnette’s “Bwaata,” Ersahin crafts a beautiful melody that floats over Grenadier’s five-note bass figure, while Wollesen gently pushes the activity with his sparkling cymbal dexterity. On the funkier “Earth Song,” where Grenadier crafts a bassline that faintly resembles Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman,” Ersahin provides more blues inflections and riff-action that’s utterly pleasing.

Home is a telling recording of a formidable composer and saxophonist in the making.

Originally Published