The October issue of New York City Jazz Record has a very good review of the Mark Lotz & Islak Köpek album Istanbul Improv Sessions May 4th by Tom Greenland.
Berlin-born, Den Haag-based flutist Mark Alban Lotz is a globetrotting musician whose latest project, Istanbul Improv Sessions May 4th, was recorded in the Turkish capital with Islak Köpek, a local quintet of guitarist Sevket Akinci, cellist Kevin W. Davis, laptop and controllers player Korhan Erel and saxophonists Robert Reigle and Volkan Terzioglu. A disciplined outing, the group eschews skronky bombast for tesselated textures and sustained group ‘chords’ in a variety of settings, all featuring Lotz on various flutes, some prepared and/or processed. Erel’s samples – a mix of animal calls, natural elements, odd metallophones and robotic twitters – never dominate the soundscape, blending seamlessly with the husky, sputtering saxes, scratchy cello and spitting flute for a satisfying balance, impeccably recorded.
The album was recorded during Mark’s visit in Istanbul in May, 2010. It was released a year later on Evil Rabbit Records. Mark and Islak Köpek played a concert in Istanbul in November 2011 at the Borusan Music House. Mark and I started a duo after the album recording, inspired by the flow of four duos we have on this album, and played shows in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Haarlem in 2011 with guest musicians Wolter Wierbos, Eric Boeren, and Guillaume Heurebitze.
The New York City Jazz Record website, where current and past issues of the publication can be downloaded for free, is here: http://www.nycjazzrecord.com/