PRINCE OF JAZZ DRUMS: FERİT ODMAN

FERIT ODMAN, WHOSE THREE ALBUMS HAVE BEEN RELEASED UNTIL TODAY, IS AN ARTIST WHO HAS BEEN FOLLOWED BY AUDIOPHILES AS WELL AS INTERNATIONAL JAZZ CRITICS AND LISTENERS BY MEANS OF THE QUALITY OF HIS RECORDS.

Ferit Odman, among our young generation musicians who has performed with names such as McCoy Tyner, Christian McBride, and John Clayton took the stage most recently with Terell Stafford, a famous American trumpet player. His latest album that was recorded as full analog at the Bunker Studios in New York was reproduced in record format, closest possible to the original. The jazz critics praised the limited reproduction, which was only for 1000. We had a pleasant chat with the famous jazz drummer whose success has been much talked about lately.

How did your interest in jazz music begin?
I would not be lying, when I say in my mother’s womb. I grew up in a house where jazz music was listened all the time. In fact, the concept of music to me is completely jazz. In other words, my love for music is parallel to jazz and to my interest in this type of music. Who doesn’t love music…

What does jazz music mean to you?
Jazz is everything to me! It is such music that once you comprehend it you cannot give up. Although it is too complicated as to render the other music styles meaningless, it is like an ocean that houses beautiful things in it.

When and how did you begin playing for the first time?
I met with drums when I was 11. I aimed for drums naturally after living my childhood as a kid who was a handful and tapped out the rhythm of everything. I was always so impressed by the shine of the bells.

You had a special concert in the Akbank Jazz Festival. Can you tell us about it?
In the concert that was given within the 26th Akbank Jazz Festival, I played pieces by Tadd Dameron from my album titled ‘Dameronia With Strings’ accompanied by string instruments. Terell Stafford came from New York just to accompany us in this concert. He also played the trumpet in the album. Jazz lovers listened to this project live for the first time since the album was released.

How do you like the development of jazz music in Turkey?
I don’t find it bad, but it has rough edges. The most important ones are a university that offers jazz music education and a serious four-year education. Also, the number of jazz clubs are so small. I think our festivals are very good; the support that comes from large banks and holdings are very important. I hope this support continues to increase in folds and jazz music reaches to large masses.

Who are your favorite jazz musicians?
This list might be a long one, so I would like to give you only the names of drum players: Max Roach, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams.

You recorded your last album in America; was it because you thought that they were more advanced technically?
Actually, I recorded all my albums in New York for that reason. My last album was recorded on tape as full analog, which was impossible to do in Turkey. These record studios that deliver real sound are located in America, especially in New York; there are two-three of them there. The record that was released as full analog was reproduced only for 1000. Each copy was numbered manually. They ran out fast. Now, a Japanese company called JVC bought the rights of the album for XRCD format. We will be reproducing the album’s new edition in short time.

Where can the jazz listeners find your albums?
They will be able to reach the new edition anywhere in Turkey; however, those who have bought the limited edition are the lucky ones.

Can you tell us about your future projects?
I am working on promoting the Dameronia project and to take place in the global arena. My concerts at the Türk jazz stage go on. I recommend you to come to the concerts that I play with Kerem Görsev and TRT Big Band. There is not a specific album project in the horizon but this might change any minute. We will have the Kerem Görsev Trio concert at the Emek Stage on January 27.