Born in Turkey, Timuçin immigrated to Holland as a young man to study jazz guitar and classical composition in Hilversum and Amsterdam Conservatories. Then he continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music.
He has internationally performed with his own ensembles as well as artists such as Randy Brecker, Greg Osby, Robin Eubanks, Tyshawn Sorey, Ralph Alessi, Jim Black, Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, Reggie Washington, Loren Stillman, Ingrid Laubrock, Dan Weiss, Mark Ferber, Matt Brewer, Concertgebouw Jazz orchestra, to name a few.
Şahin is an innovative composer, improviser and bandleader with an extensive discography (8 albums as leader) and performance background. His creative practice blends jazz, avant-garde, experimental, and electronic components into a powerful musical statement on collective musical freedom.
His unique sound on 7 string fretless electric guitar and his emotional content in his composing made him non-comparable and his music almost impossible to categorize. Both his compositions and his playing on his double-neck guitar – his trademark – radiate an incomparable individualism.
With his band "Flow State", Sahin presents a homage to Charlie Parker that is described in the notes as participating in a tradition of musicians who grapple with Parker’s influence, tease out the strands of his DNA, and conjure his verve into the idiom of the now. The album features angular, playfully funky, stretched-out music that probes specific strains of Bird’s music and ideas. An element that can’t be overlooked on Funk Poems for Bird is the funk.
Timuçin’s explosive guitar has a timbral range to rival that of James Brown’s voice; he cites Brown and Bird in one breath as his greatest influences. The tight groove of Parliament Funkadelic may be another point of reference here. More directly, the elastic approaches of Steve Coleman’s M-Base collective, where drummer Sean Rickman and bass player Reggie Washington have spent time, are palpable in this recording. M-Base exists at a point equidistant from funk and jazz, in a neighborhood close to where Şahin lives.
Timuçin and pianist Cory Smythe both share a love of Afrological rhythmic dynamism but also of post-Schoenbergian art music experimentalism. You may not be able to hear the pitch sets they built off of inversions of Parker’s improvised melodies, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
Theoretical sophistication notwithstanding, there is nothing careful or academic or formulaic about this music when you listen to it. Imagine Sahin, Smythe, Washington and Rickman welcoming the ghost of Parker into the recording studio, and then rather than trying to barrage him with questions about his technique or suffocate him with praise, just saying “fuck it, let’s play.”
- first prize at the prestigious Dutch Jazz Competition in 2001
- second prizes at the Jur Naessens Music Award in 2002
- Deloitte Jazz Award in 2006
- best new release in 2017 with “Nothing Bad Can Happen” in the “Best of the Year Issue” of prestigious NYC Jazz Record
TIMUCIN SAHIN 4TET
Timuçin Sahin – 7 string fretless, 6 string fretted & baritone guitars
Cory Smythe – piano
Reggie Washington – bass
Sean Rickman – drums
2023 - 2024
"A nimble guitarist and a scintillating composer." - The New York Times
"Very impressive, visceral yet also cerebral and feisty..." - Downbeat
"Sahin's guitar playing soars in a confluence of high art and earthiness." - Guitar Player Magazine