I want to start off by thanking Veli Mert for having given me the opportunity to write about his first single, as this is a BIG RECORD and a premiere on our platform as well. George’s Dilemma is a jazz track of epic proportions and a modern take on a 70-year-old song by Clifford Brown. What will really shock you is that Veli is not American, nor European. He is a biologist from Turkey who’s also studying to get a Master’s Degree in neuroscience. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have a Turkish scientist who’s doing jazz on a professional level and reviving golden-age American masterpieces. Simply phenomenal. Now pick up your jaw from the floor and let’s proceed to digest together Veli Mert’s first single, George’s Dilemma.
If like me, you never heard before of the original composition, you can listen to it HERE. Clifford Brown’s version is heavily based on the trumpet with all the other instruments sounding much further in the background, almost as if to emphasize even more so the grandiose presence of the trumpet. We do get a sax solo and a piano sequence, but they are always on that lower level sound. Whereas Veli Mert completely adapted the track to a much more balanced version of the song. If Clifford Brown’s track sounds like watching a jazz band from the outside, Veli Mert’s adaptation of George’s Dilemma sounds like being on stage with them. Both distinguishable from one another but equally gorgeous.
“I began playing music in high school by taking private drum classes. Subsequently, I’ve been playing the drums for over 12 years now. I’m mostly influenced by jazz music albeit being able to play various genres. My influences are Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Ferit Odman, Avishai Cohen, Shai Maestro” shares Veli Mert. His genius touch doesn’t end at just his own ability. He actually put together an entire formation of 5 people, himself included, that has rendered this modern version of George’s Dilemma possible: Ezgi Arman on the trumpet, Ziya Arman on the trombone, Shaul Eshet on the piano, Melisa Dopazo on the double bass, and Veli Mert, the author, on the drums. Catch this though: Ezgi and Ziya are husband and wife, both from Turkey, Shaul – from Israel, and Melisa – from Argentina. These 5 extremely talented individuals have created a timeless instrumental that ascends to incredibly rarefied heights of jazz perfection. Thank you Veli Mert for blessing the new generation with such a remarkable masterwork.
The 5 minutes and 34 seconds of epicness are quite capable of converting any soul to organic instruments and jazz music. And the joyride starts from the very first bars when we get a rich piano sound followed shortly after by the trumpet and trombone. As the record progresses along, we definitely get a modified jazz sound, with the drums and piano creating a sort of Latin touch and taking the shape of a danceable ballroom-like track rather than a jazz improv composition. As a matter of fact, Veli Mert attests to this music metamorphosis: “I decided to record George’s Dilemma by Clifford Brown with a Middle-Eastern theme on the solos.” Given that unfortunately, the majority of music consumers are not familiar with Middle-Eastern jazz fusions, the second best thing coming to one’s mind is Latin ballroom music. Actually, the similarity is rather astounding when you play them side by side. The major difference being, of course, the rhythm. But instrument-wise, both genres have its foundation in the light drums, the dominant duo of piano and trumpet, and the suave trombone. It is becoming rather mind-bending how music proves itself time and time again to know of no limits or borders. What Veli Mert created is of monumental significance on a global scale.
Make sure you do your part in spreading the word about truly majestic music by adding George’s Dilemma to your playlists on Tidal HERE, on Deezer HERE, on Apple Music HERE, on Google Play HERE, and on Spotify below:
Review by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2020