Sinan Bakir

Primary Instrument: Guitar

Born: August 3    

Sinan Bakir

Tales and Stories(2013)

As performed in a standard quartet setting (pianist Warren Byrd, upright bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Mark Ferber), the guitarist’s tunes sound like updated classics. Tales & Stories is a pleasure-packed minor masterpiece.

Mark Holston - Jazziz Magazine

The quartet explores the 12 original pieces with grace, fire, wit, and emotional intensity, displaying intuitive interaction throughout. Just let these sounds wash over you; good music can excite and soothe and this is good music.

Richard Kamins - Step Tempest

The 12 varied pieces sometimes mix East and West elements and range from the diaphanous to hard-swinging pieces swaggering with digital dexterity and mental agility. All are engaging, clear, uncluttered, accessible and resonate with a pleasant sense of layered mystery, seasoned with savory hints of the exotic. ...
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Turkish-born guitarist/composer Sinan Bakir makes a strong debut as a leader with the self-released On My Way, an inventive guitar- trio outing with bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Mark Ferber. As the title suggests, the Hartford, Connecticut-based musician shows he is definitely on his way to becoming a creative voice in the world of jazz guitar. Bakir moves easily from a classic Kenny Burrell-style, especially on chord melody passages (title track and “Steps”), to a more modern, linear approach in the mold of John Scofield (”Stop n' Go,” “Karma”). The guitarist effectively mixes bebop lines with chromatic trills, relying heavily on guitaristic hammer-ons and pull-offs, to create a unique voice void of direct imitation. The full effect of Bakir's approach can be felt on the dirge-like ballad ”Evergreen.” Kneeland, with his deep-in-the-wood tone, cuts through the harmonically-rich ballad “Ice Orbits” with an inventive solo turn. The bassist then displays even more technical brilliance on the Latin- tinged “Steps,” paving the way for one of Bakir's more inspired improvised journeys from the session the up-tempo “Play.” The disc as a whole benefits from Kneeland being featured prominently. Ferber's sensitive drumming provides the right amount of dynamic push the proceedings, elevating piece to a high level of musicality.

John Vincent Barron - Jazz

A lot of young artists seem to throw out hard and fast material at the top of their album programs, to instantly grab attention, but the rest of the music often falls flat and doesn't live up to the early-track hype. Guitarist Sinan Bakir goes the other way, easing into his music as On My Way sets sail, preferring to hold all the aces until later in the game. The title track and, to a greater extent, “Into The Blue” are musically expressive and performed well, but don't really demand attention. While Bakir, bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Mark Ferber seem to be more than comfortable in this modest musical area, the music doesn't stay there and the album really starts to take off with “Oddity.” Opening as a Ferber-feature that highlights his tom work, Bakir and Kneeland give off a darker vibe when they first join in. Ferber cranks up the intensity as he develops his ideas, and eventually ends up with a more insistent feel, driven by his cymbal work. “Stop N' Go” starts off with a three- chord pattern from Bakir, while Ferber works a funk-tinged rock beat as Bakir solos, with a similarly inclined, repetitious line from Kneeland. Ferber blows off some steam with an impressive solo of his own, and the band chills out after this one, delivering the mellow ballad, “Ice Orbits.” While ”Steps” falls into a similar category as the opening tracks, its featherweight Latin underpinnings differentiate it. “Play!,” the penultimate performance on the album, is a more overt expression ofBakir's Latin roots, and the Samba-fun(k) from Ferber and Kneeland is fantastic. Bakir's inspired soloing feeds off of the energy coming from his trio mates, with lines possessing laser-like focus. The material leading up to “Play!” is equally impressive. The spirit of guitarist John Scofield looms large over Bakir's playing, in particular on ”Blues for Istanbul” and “Karma,” where the entire trio seems to relish the opportunity to cut loose, the music resonating with a great sense of urgency. Kneeland's delivers his strongest solo the album, as he flies through the music with impassioned technique and energy. “Blues For Istanbul” has a cooler demeanor in its DNA, but happens to have one of the hippest feels of any tracks on the album. This trio outing certainly demonstrates that Sinan Bakir is, indeed, on his way.

Dan Bilawsky - All About Jazz

These pieces are not just vamps waiting for long solos; instead, many of the songs have strong melodic lines that open up logically for the various solos. ”Oddity” displays a Middle-Eastern feel in the rhythms and ringing guitar chords; Bakir's stinging phrases gallop atop Ferber's exciting drum work and Kneeland's rich bass tones. “Stop & Go” has a “rockish” feel, thanks to the pounding drums and thumping bass lines. Bakir digs in on this track and one can hear the influence of Allan Holdsworth, not so much for blazing fast riffs but in the textures of the guitar sound. Without a second lead instrument, Bakir alternates between single-note lines and chordal strumming. “Steps” is a good example of how he allows the melody to dictate the pace, giving room to Kneeland for a short, melodic, solo before digging in to a thoughtful guitar spot. Other highlights include the title track that opens the program. The guitarist's sound is quite clear allowing the trills and little circular riffs to stand out on a piece that is somewhat introspective. “Play!” is another “hot” track, with a rhythm line that, at times, sounds like Juan Tizol's “Caravan.” Kneeland's bouncing bass phrases atop Ferber's strutting drums gives the guitarist the impetus to “let rip.” ”On My Way” is a solid debut. It's easy to put this music on and just let it play. One can hear the influences of Holdsworth, John Scofield and Bill Frisell but Bakir is no imitator. The voice of the guitar one hears on the opening cut never wavers or falters throughout. The rhythm section is impressive in their support and creativity. Sinan Bakir is a good young composer and player worth your attention.

Richard Kamins - Hartford Courant

Young Sinan Bakir shows a maturity well beyond his youthful appearance. The young man favors a clean tone and assured, John Scofield-like approach. Backed by bassist Thomas Kneeland and drummer Mark Ferber, the guitarist starts off with two nicely paced mid tempo numbers before things really kick into high gear on the sinewy “Oddity” and rocking ”Stop N' Go.” Bakir calls upon some of his heritage in some moments on his solos which exhibit a bit of Middle-Eastern influence. “Ice Orbits” is cool and subtle, while “Karma” is high-stepping fun. “Blues for Istanbul” combines Turkish directions with the blues, while “Play!” has an engaging Latin touch that is delivered with jubilant energy by the trio. A nice mixture of slower- paced and faster material, played well. Bakir does indeed seem to be a young musician “on his way” and I will be interested to see where he takes his talent next.

Brad Walseth -

Music has a formula: Understanding theory, originality, natural talent, the right chemistry, discipline and focus, incorporate your own influences, understand the business side, and most importantly, music continues to grow inside you for the rest of your life. Sinan Bakir has accomplished and understands all of the above with his (self released) debut LP “On My Way” His well matched trio including the extremely talented Thomas Kneeland on acoustic bass and the magnificent drummer Mark Ferber, have presented us with something new, different and fresh. Jazz has evolved yet again with this new alternative. Lend an ear, it's not your parents/grandparents music anymore. If you haven't discovered Jazz yet, now is the opportune time to do so. Jazz has a new vehicle with Sinan Bakir at the helm and this generation can claim him as one of their own. Debut LP “On My Way” . ”Stop and Go” has a delicious vibe with an example of what a perfect trio should sound like. Listen for the drum solo. ”Ice Orbits” has a sweet lazy day feel with layers of emotional complexities yawning and spreading it's wings. ”Evergreen” Is truly a lovely piece from start to finish with an epic bass solo.

Lucia Sanchez - Examiner

Sinan has introduced himself as a talented author, and his performing views accepts a modern tendencies. His themes were done in one interesting performing mood, where influences comes out from the 50's, and reachs actuelle period. His guitar technique is in many aspects unique, but offering arrangments has something “taken” from Metheny/Scofield approaches. His performing energy is also specific, and in interesting way he treats often rhythm changes in present album themes. “On My Way” is highly recomandable product, and realistically announce Sinan' s arrival on modern jazz scene.

Branimir Lokner - Music Editor and Reviewer

Any jazz afficianado will love this hot debut from guitarist Sinan Bakir, who has been making a name for himself, playing around the tri-state area these past couple of years. This is an album you can really sink your teeth into, delving into the many delights of Bakir's pure guitar sounds, (no pedals please), his passages are well thought out and devoid of any guitar shredding so endemic in todays music be it jazz or rock. Bakir wears his influences proudly and I hear the echo's of the greats like Wes Montgomery, Les Paul, Pat Metheny, John Scofield et al. Recorded in a one day session, in a re- furbished studio that was once an old church, Bakir and his two seasoned New York studio veterans on acoustic bass and drums have made an album that could have been recorded 50 years ago but could also have been made today and will still sound great 30 years from now..You couldn't get a higher compliment.

Joe Sciortino - Amazon reviewer

Live Gig Review

Bakir appears to have a strong grounding in jazz sub-genres, as well as classical and pop music. However, his own style might be best described as post-fusion, similar in concept to that of guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. Both men came of age after the original jazz-rock fusion era had crested, yet their music synthesizes rock and jazz elements with more ease and fluency than did the originators of fusion during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“Stop 'n' Go,” the second tune of Saturday's performance, displayed this seamless marriage of funk, rock and jazz influences, Byrd's keyboard work recalling the impassioned sounds of Herbie Hancock and Chick Coreain their electric prime. Bakir's solo paid homage to John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu days while also sounding very contemporary - and considerably more restrained in tone. The guitarist and keyboardist brought the piece to a climax when their comping during the tail end of Brown's solo grew into a fast, furious and fun-filled improvisatory dialogue.

Much later, “Oddity” explored equally fulfilling possibilities through the intersection of jazz, rock and Latin musical styles. Bilello's fine mallet work introduced this piece before Bakir took off on one of his most inspired fingerpicking excursions of the night. His clean, crisp attack revealed an impressive technique, honed no doubt during his residency at the Hartford Conservatory, where he studied on scholarship after arriving in the U.S. nine years ago

Chuck Obuchowski - Hartford Courant

  • BUY

    Tales & Stories

    Aslan Records
  • BUY

    On My Way

    Self Produced

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Primary Instrument:

Hartford, CT

Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students

Gibson Es-175 Ibanez As-193 Mesa Boogie Amp

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Rank: 791 Views: 15,849 Fans: 259
Featured recording “Tales & Stories”

Tales & Stories

Aslan Records (2014)
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