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esire to express yet another facet of his musical persona, one that would explore with density the boundaries between jazz, rock, pop and world music, it was decided to record with guitarist/arranger Thor Madsen, drummer Jochen Rueckert, bassist Jesse Murphy and songstress Marla Turner . These, with Ilhan Ersahin on tenor and keyboard would be the latest incarnation of a continuing project known as Wax Poetic .
The pun intended, Wax Poetic was both to go vinyl and to be an armature on which to drape the anemosonic and dreamy cinematic soundscapes that ilhan sought. Think Dance of the Penguins. Earlier incarnations of the project including a then–unknown Norah Jones, N’dea Davennport and Saul Williams.
Skating on glass, dancing on twigs, exploring crisp edges of dub and electronica, this version of the band continues in a tradition begun some 6 years ago. Characteristic of Wax Poetic’s web of voice and the effusive persuasion of Thor’s and Ilhan’s electronic meanderings through levels of the band’s id are the pulsating bass of Murphy and the chugging, rock steady backbeats of Rueckert.
Says singer Marla Turner, “I don’t want to sound like anybody else. I just want to do what I’m doing. That’s why I’m with Wax Poetic.” In response to comparisons to bands like Thievery Corporation or tenor riffs that conjure those of John Coltraine on electronics, Ilhan has said "There are always going to be influences. You hear them, you reconfigure them and you arrive at something new.
“That is what I want to do with all my bands, and particularly with Wax Poetic. I wanted a vocally–led situation – you know, songs – and a little improvisation with the emphasis on sound rather than on solos.”
In fact there is actually not that much saxophone except as obligato behind the band and Marla. It’s mostly keyboards with Thor’s guitar and beats added to Jochen’s, with Jesse’s bass. “If we happen to sound like somebody or remind you of somebody, maybe we meant that to happen and maybe we didn’t. I guess that is the price of being contemporary, you hear things and you accept them or reject them in accordance with what you intend to project.”
Sometimes it’s not what you intended, but I think – insofar as I even do think about it – that that is what makes it art."
ByJohn Farris, Nublu, Summer 2005