(born Ankara, 11-February-1939)
Okay Temiz studied percussion and graduated from Ankara Classical Music Conservatory. His interest in music came early as he grew up listening to his mother, Naciye Temiz, play Turkish classical music on oud. He became a professional musician in 1955.
Equipped with the knowledge of Western and Middle Eastern rhythms, he left Turkey for the first time in 1960s. Performing with a Turkish band (Ulvi Temel’s orchestra) and Okay Sextet, he toured Europe during 1967-68 and came to Sweden in 1967, returning in 1969 to join the Don Cherry Trio. Okay was with Don Cherry and Dyani for a year; forming the Don Cherry Trio. Before joining Dyani for Music for Xaba, he was with Sevda until the summer of 1972. He rejoined Sevda a year later.
Since 1967, Temiz established several groups: Sevda, Music for Xaba (Africa Combination), Oriental Wind, Okay Temiz Ensemble, and Magnetic Band (Tziganes). He has played at over 3000 concerts and have been a part of over 250 festivals. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio stations in Turkey and abroad. His discography includes over 40 recordings.
Temiz has been experimenting with folk jazz tradition around the world since 1967, at times working with avant-garde musicians in search of multi-cultural synthesis. His work expanded in Europe and he gained international recognition especially after Oriental Wind albums. Temiz blends traditional Turkish folk melodies with improvisonal art sometimes conveniently labeled as jazz. Temiz’s music combines African, Indian, South American rhythms together with Turkish rhythms, creating a unique sound. Originally a jazz drummer, Temiz also uses non-western instruments from all over the world. His collection includes instruments such as quicca, berimbau, talking drums and kalimba. In fact, he has even built instruments to play with. At times, his music also included latest technological equipments such as synthesizers.
Temiz has been living in Scandinavian countries since 1967. After a long residence in Sweden, he moved to Finland in 1993.
"The Turkish member, Okay Temiz, plays a special, integrative role. Temiz, born in Ankara, studied Turkish, Arabian and African music before setting in Sweden in the early seventies. On dozens of records, in concerts and productions, he has helped to make the jazz world aware of the music of his Turkish homeland - a music, of which Karl Hans Berger said "it is an ideal world music, because it encompasses the meeting of Asia and Europe, Persia, India and Arabia, the music of Africa, ancient Egypt and the Balkans".
Joachim E. Berendt, from Percussion Summit liner notes
Okay Temiz Discography
Okay Temiz, Turkish Folk Jazz, SNTF 668 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Temiz with Turkish clarinet player Saffet Gündeger and Björn Alke (bass)
This is a perfect trio setting for Okay and Saffet. Mr. Gündeger, a Turkish gypsy musician, has passed away in 1994. Look for Temiz’s recent recordings with other gyspy musicians in 1990s.
Okay Temiz, Oriental Wind, 1977, SNTF 737 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Oriental Wind, Chila-Chila, 1979, SNTF 809 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Recorded at Studio 39, Copenhagen, on March 29th and 30th, 1979, except sixth cut recorded at the Metronome Studio, Stockholm, June 9th, 1979
Okay Temiz’s Oriental Wind years established him as an ethnic jazz musician. This recording and Bazaar show the reasons for his recognition. He works with traditional tunes, but does not just play them in a different setting with different instruments. He takes it further into improvisation. Meanwhile, other non-Turkish musicians in the group are not trying to play Turkish music either. They have ideas of their own.
Okay Temiz, Akagündüz Kutbay & Oriental Wind, Zikir, 1981, Kent 100102-2 (Istanbul), Sun Records (Europe)
This record was, I believe, released in Europe in 1979 and later released in Turkey. Akagündüz Kutbay is a legendary ney player. He passed away a few years after this recording was made.
Okay Temiz, Akagündüz Kutbay & Oriental Wind, Zikir, 1979, , Sun Records (F) SEB11005
Paris, February 1979
Okay Temiz & Oriental Wind
Tamara-Delihoron, Fidayda, Les Noto, Dere Geliyor Dere, SarI KIz
Okay Temiz - Drummer of Two Worlds, Finnadar Records, 1980 (distributed by Atlantic Recording Corp.)
Before his fame in Turkey, Okay produced many albums. This album played a major factor in his introduction to Turkish audiences. The tune East Breeze (Denizalti Rüzgarlari) became very popular and Turkish Television’s Ara Müzikleri (instrumentals played between scheduled programs to fill time with different pictures of Anatolia's natural beauty and historical sites on the screen) helped as well.
On the back cover of this album, there is a group picture of all the instruments Okay used for this recording. They are a cowbell array (built by Okay himself), sheep bells, thavil, darbuka, cuica, Moroccan bongos, frog call, berimbau, gourds, talking drum, log-drum, finger bells, Indian tuned sticks, bamboo flutes, flexotone, valiha, sipsi, jews-harp, gopijantra, bell tree, kalibas and klaxon.
Tracks for this album were recorded in three occasions. Tracks 1 & 8 were recorded in Istanbul in summer of 1975. Rest of the tracks were recorded in Stockholm. Tracks 2-4 & 6-7 were recorded on April 28 & 29, 1980. Tracks 5 & 9 were recorded on July 1 & 2, 1980.
Okay Temiz - Live in Bremen, 1982
"Packhaus Theater", Bremen, October 28, 1981, JA & RO (G)007, (Swd) 08-4107
Okay Temiz - Live in der Balver Hoehle, 1983
Oriental Wind / Okay Temiz - Life Road, 1983
Stockholm, June 1983, Jaro 4113-2 1993
JARO Medien GmbH Bismarckstr. 83 28203 Bremen tel.0421-705771
Oriental Wind, Bazaar, 1981, SNTF 864 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Recorded in Stockholm 1981
Okay Temiz & Saffet Gundeger, Sweden, Urspar 1984
Tracks 1-6 recorded in Music Workshop Studio, Stockholm, March 30, 1983
Tracks 7-9 recorded live in Lund, March 18, 1983 by Okay Temiz
Okay Temiz & The Karnataka College of Percussion, Sankirna, 1985
Traditional South Indian musicians and vocalists accompany Okay Temiz on this recording. I like this recording; especially tracks 1, 2 and 5. Fidayda starts as Okay usually plays it. The melody is familiar; it is a folk dance tune from Central Anatolia. Soon, a series of dialogues between instruments start and a unique rhythm with energy takes over.
Okay Temiz Ensemble, Magnetic Dance, 1991, Bayar Müzik Üretim - 125, Turkey
Recorded at Istanbul Gelisim Studio on October 28, 1990
This album is an early recording of Okay’s present interests. At some point, as the story goes, Okay heard tapes of Turkish Roman (Gypsy) musicians. He was very impressed and returned to Istanbul to look for them. The result is years of collobarative effort for these musicians who state that playing with Okay have increased their statue and they are especially pleased with responses they get in their European performances. In the following records, the line up change, but some of these musicians have become key players and they keep returning to play with Okay. In the summer of 1995, Okay rekindled his work with Indian musicians with sessions in Istanbul. However, it is safe to say that 'Gypsy' chapter of Okay’s career will continue.
Aslan Mustafa, Romen, Hicaz, Da Da, KarlI Daglar, SarIya, Makedonya, Kirmizi, Gaziantep Ciftetellisi, FIs FIs, Orient, MarI
Ergün Senlendirici (trumpet), Hasan Girnataci (clarinet), Kemal Tezcan (electrical saz), Nuri Lekesizgöz (kanun), Haci Rüstem (darbuka), Akay Temiz (drums), Erkan Ogur (electrical guitar), Cengiz Özdemir (synthesizer), Okay Temiz (percussion)
Okay Temiz in Europe, 1988, Yanki Müzik Yapim - YMC 138, Turkey
1. Cargah Sirto, 2. Gide Gide, 3. Veli Aga, 4. Life Road 5. Cayirda Buldum Seni, 6. Griot Song, 7. Azeri, 8. Romen, 9. Ababa
with Lennart Aberg, Sevenson
Okay Temiz Ensemble, Magnetic Dance LIVE, 1991
Okay Temiz, Green Wave, 1992, Uzelli 1266, Turkey
Recorded at Marmara VAPP Studios, Istanbul in June 1992
Red Buddha, Dergah, Big Steps, Zikir, Blossom, Bu Neden, Green Wave, For Yunus, Resa, Hazar (All Songs Composed & Arranged by O. Temiz, except Blossom by Cengiz Ozdemir)
Hakan Alvan (ney), Ergun Senlendirici (trumpet), Cengiz Ozdemir (synth), Mustafa Topaloglu (vocals, 'Bu Neden' only), Martin Spencer (special effects), Okay Temiz (percussions)
Okay Temiz, Dervish Service
The Vulture (Akbaba), Va va va va, After Peace (Baristan Sonra), Confused Harmony (Karmas Duzen), Mugla Zeybegi (Locust), Dervish Service (Dervisin Zikri), Silver Hand (Gumus El), Zumba, Dance For Peace (Baris Dansi)
Okay Temiz & Sylvain Kassap, Istanbul'da Eylül (La Lichère, France)
1.Çicek Pasaji, 2.Tekez Otlamasi, 3.Yeniköy, 4.Mirage, 5.Ortaköy, 6.Onyedi, 7.Köçekce, 8.Karaköy, 9.Oasis, 10.Quixote
Okay Temiz, Misket
Recorded at Marmara V.A.P.P. Studios, Istanbul, November 1989
Okay Temiz Ensemble, FIs FIs, 1991, CD/ADD (France)
Recorded in December 1989 at Marmara VAPP Studios in Istanbul by Martin Spencer
Okay Temiz (percussions), Hasan Yarimdunya (clarinet), Ahmet Meter (kanun), Nedim Nalbantoglu (violin)
1. Fis Fis (4:19), 2. Agri Dagi (5:17), 3. Orient (5:09), 4. Bom Bili Bili (2:36), 5. Zeybek (3:34), 6. Hicaz Dolap (3:56), 7. Komsu (4:23), 8. Rast (3:18), 9. Ciftetelli Gaziantep (4:15), 10. Sofor (3:28), 11. Ramze (4:35), 12. Mari (6:00), 13. Yildiz (2:32), Total Time : 53:45
All compasions by Okay Temiz. Liner notes are in French.
Okay Temiz, Fishmarket, 1995, Uzelli, Istanbul
Tracks 3, 5, 11-13 were recorded in Finland in November 1994. Other tracks were recorded at Marmara VAPP Studios in Istanbul by Martin Spencer in 1992.
If you look at the musicians and instruments, you might get an idea as to what to expect from this recording. There are different chapters in Okay’s career. Each chapter has several recordings and this one is almost one recording in one chapter. (Perhaps fortunately). Closest recording to this album is Dervish Service. Basically, it suffers from synthesizer over-usage. Fortunately, there are some very pleasing compositions in this recording.
Okay Temiz & Magnetic Band, Magnet Dance, 1995, TipToe, Germany
Recorded live on June 14, 1994 at SWF Jazz Session, Tollhaus, Karlsruhe
Okay Temiz Magnetic Band in Finland 1995 Ano Kato Records 2004 (CD), Greece
Recorded at Martin Kantola Studios, Vaasa, Finland, 5/13/95-5/17/95
Ano Kato Records, P.P. Germanou 19 - 546 22, Thessaloniki, Greece, Phone +3031 263565, Fax +3031 268118
Okay Temiz & The Karnataka College of Percussion, Mishram, 1996
Okay Temiz/Raks Istanbul 8691024004055
Appearances In Other Recordings
Dyani, Temiz, Feza, Rejoice
This album was recorded in October 1972.
Dyani, Temiz, Feza, Music for Xaba ("God"), SNTF 642 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Live "Teater 9", Stockholm, November 2, 1972
Dyani, a double bass player from South Africa, at the time of this recording was living in Scandinavia in exile. Okay was with Dyani in the Don Cherry Trio for a year. This is a rare recording. (I had a difficulty finding a copy.) Here is the address of Antilles :
Antilles Records, Island Records Inc., 7720 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90046
Dyani, Temiz, Feza, Music for Xaba Vol 2., SNTF 864 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Live "Teater 9", Stockholm, November 2, 1972
Maffy Falay & Sevda, 1972, Caprice (Swd) RIKSLP31
Stockholm, March 15, 1972
Maffy Falay & Sevda, Live at Fregatte, 1974, SNTF 864 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Recorded on August 26th 1973 at Fregatten Restaurant, Stockholm during Stockholm Jazz Festival
Maffy Falay & Sevda, Live at Jazzhus Montmartre, 1972, Caprice (Swd) CAP1041
Live "Jazzhus Montmartre", Stockholm, March 23, 1972
Lars Gullin, Bluesport, 1974, Reissued by Odeon/EMI, Sweden in 1992
This album highlights a major Swedish musician of this century; baritone saxophonist and composer Lars Gullin (1928-1976). The recordings took place on September 8 & 9, 1974 and the line up took different formations for these tracks. Temiz played on the second day. This album also features Maffy Falay on some powerful solos.
By the way, Dragon label from Sweden, started to reissue some of Gullin’s works. Vol.1 1955-56 (DRCD 224) and Vol. 2 1953 (DRCD 234) are available.
Lars Gullin (baritone saxophone, piano), Björn Alke (bass), Jan Bergman (electric bass), Rune Carlsson (drums), Maffy Falay (trumpet & flugelhorn), Lennart Jansson (alto saxophone), Ahmadu Jarr (congas), Gunnar Lindqvist (flute), Amedeo Nicoletti (electric guitar), Fredrik Norén (drums), Bernt Rosengren (tenor saxophone), Lars Sjösten (piano), Bertil Strandberg (trombone), Lennart Aberg (soprano saxophone) and Okay Temiz (percussions).
Tracks 7, 8 & 9 are not included in the original LP release.
Lennart Aberg, Green Prints, Caprice CAP 1276 LP, 10/85-1/86
Mostly Scandinavian Musicians, Aberg (Saxaphones, flute), Temiz on percussion
Don Cherry, Blue Lake, Byg Japan, YX 4022/23. (2-LP), 1971
Don Cherry, Johnny Dyani, Okay Temiz
Don CherryBYG (Japan) YX4012 & YX4013, 1971
Paris, April 22, 1971
Don Cherry, Organic Music Society/The Creator Has A Master Plan, Caprice RIKS LP 44,50 1971 (Sweden). (2-LP)
"Moderna Museet", Stockholm, July 4, 1971
Bollnäs, June 23, 1971
Don Cherry, Rena Rema
Don Cherry, In Ankara, SNTF 669 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Live "U.S. Embassy", Ankara, November 23, 1969, Reissued on Piccadilly PIC3511
Don Cherry, Eternal Now, SNTF 653 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Don Cherry, Orient, Affinity CD 769-2CD, 4/71-8/72
Don Cherry (trumpet), Johnny Dyani (bass), Macqui (tamboura), Han Bennink (drums, percussion,accordion), Okay Temiz (drums, percussion)
Don Cherry, Dona Nostra, ECM 1848 CD, 3/93
Recorded March 1993, Rainbow Studio, Oslo
I met Don Cherry in San Francisco a couple years earlier from the time of this recording. He talked about some of his work including his experiences and ideas about music outside of US. He wanted to make another album with his friends in Europe. When I saw this CD in a record store a few years later, I was happy. As you know, Don Cherry has passed away in 1995.
There is a picture in Jazz Times magazine's October 1991 issue (on page 38) of Cherry and Temiz together. It was taken at Washington D.C. Free Jazz Festival in 1991. The group was called "Don Cherry and The Multi Kulti World Orchestra." Members were Don Cherry, Jim Pepper, Sandy Bull, Aiyb Dieng, Okay Temiz and Peter Apfelbaum.
Don Cherry (trumpet), Lennart Aberg (sax, flute), Bobo Stenson (piano), Anders Jormin (bass), Anders Kjellberg (drums), Okay Temiz (percussion)
1. In Memoriam (Åberg) (7:48), 2. Fort Cherry (Cherry, Åberg, Stenson, Jormin, Kjellberg, Temiz) (6:34), 3. Arrows (Cherry, Åberg, Stenson, Jormin, Kjellberg, Temiz) (5:16) 4. M'Bizo (Åberg) (8:38), 5. Race Face (Coleman) (4:22), 6. Prayer (Cherry, Jormin, Kjellberg, Temiz) (4:53), 7. What Reason Could I Give (Coleman) (3:44), 8. Vienna (Cherry, Åberg, Stenson, Jormin, Kjellberg, Temiz) (5:26), 9. Ahayu-da (Cherry, Åberg, Stenson, Jormin, Kjellberg, Temiz) (9:14)
Salih Baysal, The Myth, SNTF 739 LP, Sonet Productions, Ltd.
Tayfun, Agri Dagi Efsanesi / Legend of Mt. Ararat, Caz ve Destan, 1986, released in Turkey in 1987
Tayfun Erdem is a Turkish musician from Berlin. This recording is based on a novel written by a Turkish author, Yashar Kemal. The music is from a musical play that lasts over two and a half hours. All compositions and arrangements are by Tayfun Erdem. This work contains six tracks and an overture read in Turkish & German. Among the musicians are Okay Temiz and Lennart Aberg of Oriental Wind. Talip Özkan is a Turkish folk music scolar and player of Turkish lute saz who lives in France. He plays the cura saz in Gülbahar-Gülen Kiz.
Senem Diyici Sextet, Takalar (Label La Lichere CD LLL 17) 1989
Senem Diyici is a Turkish vocalist and I know Okay appears in this recording. No further information (except that Media 7 sent me an order form that is all in French.)
Distribution: Media 7 - 15, Rue des Goulvents, 92000 Nanterre France, tel (1) 47 24 24 11, fax (1) 47 25 00 99
Okay Temiz, Four Drummers Drumming
Okay Temiz/Johny Dyani, Witchdoctor's Son
I have seen a reference to this recording once upon a time. I even wrote down the tracks, but I cannot see this recording in Dyani’s records. It is a mystery; perhaps you know the answer.
Gece, Yesil Fener, Sark Gezintileri, Karadeniz DalgalarI, Döktür, Elhamdullillah, Hepimiz için, Ben Müslümanim, Moriva
Percussion Summit, 1984, Moers Music 02056 CD, Germany
Recorded at Donaueschingen Contemporary Music Festival ("Donaueschinger Musiktage") October 20, 1984
Okay Temiz (Turkey; drums, percussion), Freddie Santiago (Puerto Rico;conga, bongos, timbales, marimba, percussion), T.A.S. Mani (India; mrindangam, doll), Ed Thigpen (USA; drums, marimba), John Purcell (USA;saxophone, English horn), Urszula Dudziak (Poland; voice), R.A.Rama Mani (India;voice), Johnny Dyani (South Africa; bass), R.A. Rajagopal (India; ghatam), Gunter Baby Sommer (Germany; drums, tympani, schalmei, percussion), T.N. Shashikumar (India; kanjeera), Joe Koinzer (Germany; percussion, claves, xylophone, tubular bells, marimba, balafon)
1. Shiva ranjini (R.A. Rama Mani; 12:40), 2. Preussens absegang mit sachsens glockenklang (Gunter Baby Sommer; 6:27), 3. Burnin' circuits (Michael Urbaniak; 5:50), 4. Tune for peace (Joe Koinzer; 6:40), 5. Schalmeienschon (Gunter Baby Sommer; 5:54)
Sezen Aksu, Sezen Aksu Söylüyor (Fono Müzik, Istanbul, 1990)
Ates M. Temeltas, Johann Haidenbauer, Ellen Collison, Ender Ayanoglu