union chapel, empty

We entered the draughty hall in silence. “What do you think ‘Diz?”, I said to my companion. He looked up at the vaulted ceiling and gazed for a moment at the stained glass windows. He paced down the aisle and stepped up onto the stage. He clapped his hands, twice; the sound bounced back at us like gunshots echoing in an Arizona canyon. A smile spread slowly across his face and he nodded slowly. “It will do”, he said, in English. That was his understated translation of ‘съвършен’, the word for ‘perfect’ in his native Bulgarian language.

Ediz Hafizoğlu

Ediz Hafizoğlu is a jazz drummer now living in Turkey. His band’s latest album, “Nazdrave” 13, was released a couple of weeks ago and the opening track came up in my Spotify listening this week. It’s called Girdik, which is Turkish for “we entered”. I couldn’t find Girdik on YouTube but there are studio and live versions of Cereyanlı (“draughty”) from an earlier album called just Nazdrave (“cheers” in Bulgarian). If, like me, you have never heard of mister Hafizoğlu before try one of these as a taster (studio or live, it’s your choice).

‘Draughty’: could there be a more appropriate name for a tune built around a relaxed horn section? But the Hafizoğlu band doesn’t just do breezy instrumentals. There’s a song called Mila on the earlier Nazdrave album that takes us into World music territory with a female vocal ensemble. Then there’s Eye of a Hurricane, a sweet lounge song with a solo singer, this time in English. And Girdik itself has some rocking guitar licks that remind me of David Gilmour.

It would have been unfair on Ediz Hafizoğlu to give you just one sample track; he is more versatile than that. So here’s a playlist by way of introduction.

It was draughty the first time we came here but now, packed with eager listeners, the old chapel is cosy and welcoming. Yes, it will do very well for a concert. In fact, it feels съвършен, my friend.

union chapel


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