Omar Faruk Tekbilek

Omar Faruk Tekbilek

One Truth

World Class

Bendir, baglama, jura anyone? How about some darbuka, kanun, or ney? Okay, most of us don’t know what these instruments are, but as you listen to them you’ll be reminded of violin, mandolin, sitar, or flute. And some very reedy wind pieces and a few others that just don’t translate into western instrumentation. But the djembes and congas do translate the rhythms very well.

As they play in a festive and lively embrace they conjure up images of bellydancers, the Istanbul skyline, waiting harems, and Islamic temples among other stereotypes, just to put you in the mood. Yes, one of the tracks may even remind you of Billy Hayes rotting away in that Turkish prison desperately waiting for his girlfriend’s visit.

Enough imagery. The music here is certainly ethnic and traditional Turkish/Mid-East Islamic, but Omar’s ensembles keep the arrangements and performances top-notch, richer and fuller sounding than much of the Mideastern fare I’ve heard.

One Truth is mostly instrumental, though a few times we do passionately chant and cry out to God. Don’t wait until you’re busted smuggling contraband at an Istanbul airport and thrown into prison with many unseemly types; enjoy your freedom, and Omar and his gang soon.

World Class Records, PO Box 31321, San Francisco, CA 94131;

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