Artist: Okan Ersan
Album: Nibiru
Label: Self-Produced
Street Date: August 15, 2019


For Immediate Release May 2019

Visionary fusion guitarist Okan Ersan takes listeners on a musical journey through outer space on Nibiru.

The Graham Album Review 

Okan Ersan: Nibiru
by George Graham

(Independent release as broadcast on WVIA-FM 8/14/2019)


By Roger Farbey
August 13, 2019
All About Jazz


AUGUST 8, 2019



Scottish Jazz Space

31/7/19 Album review: Okan Ersan  – “NIBIRU”.  Self-produced.

As appeared in DooBeeDooBeeDoo – New York today, 31/7/19.


Review: Nigel J.


Link review

By Dennis Winge


When I first heard that the album was centered around celebrating extra-terrestrial life-forms and that the first track inspired by the first alien contact with Earth, I was wondering whether “Nibiru” would be very abstract and inaccessible. I was very pleasantly surprised to find it, overall, to be adventurous and accessible simultaneously.
In fact, the first track “Wow Signal” uses the Morse-code translation of the signal as the rhythmic motive of the tune, but the other elements of the tune are very accessible as it is in 4/4 and the melody is logical and coherent. I only wished that both the guitar and keyboard solos (played by Okan Ersan and Serkan Ozyilmaz, respectively) were longer. Notwithstanding, the track seemed a promising start to the album.
The second track “As Far Away As Possible” has a simple melody that is kept interesting by the album’s wonderful percussionist Volkan Oktem. The tune gives the soloists a chance to stretch a bit more. Ersan himself has a nice clear tone that blends rock and jazz in a way that the word “fusion” doesn’t always connote.
From there, “Deep Field” uses alien sounds from the keyboards as the intro, and after some syncopated figures, the guitarist tastefully uses open voicings that complement the keyboard very well before the melody is introduced. The melody hints at something more expansive but is also down-to-Earth and friendly-sounding. The solos use chromaticism without overdoing it and they both build well. Similarly, the harmony is interesting and accessible as well.

Track 4, “Gravitational Waves,” which begins with funky syncopated rhythms, combines the best elements of rhythm and texture, and the overall sound blends jazz, fusion, new age, and even heavier rock and metal. The keyboardist is consistently adventurous on all his solos, and Ersan himself rips an effect-heavy solo as well on this track, but I again wished it were simply longer.
On “Transcending,” Okan Ersan showcases a more tender side to the quartet. The rhythm section is quite tasteful, especially bassist Eylem Pelit, whose super warm and rounded sound wonderfully supports the entire album. The slower tempo allows Ersan and Ozyilmaz to access their jazz roots.
The title track “Nibiru” is another example of how the tracks combine pleasant melodies, syncopated rhythmic hits, and well-constructed harmony. The track features a melodic bass solo which builds nicely, followed by a short, moody keyboard solo, and then a guitar solo which quickly builds and leads the band back to the out-head. “Space Jungle – Anunnaki” is the 7th and final track. It uses a really great alien-type effect on the guitar solo.
The new release from Okan Ersan is definitely worth checking out and has a nice balance between the adventurous and abstract elements as well as the best elements of jazz fusion: ripping solos, nice melodies, and logical but interesting harmonies. Ersan also plays keyboard on the album and perhaps that is a contributing factor as to why I also felt that the guitar solo on many of the tracks was too short. Perhaps when the band plays live, the musicians stretch more. Hopefully the quartet will make the rounds to many countries and cities around the world on a tour to support the album. I look forward to buying a ticket when they come to a town near me.

About the Author: Dennis Winge is a jazz guitarist and teacher living in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.