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Freedom in Jazz, Vol.2

Orhan Demir – Guitar

All Compositions by Orhan Demir

Recording Dates

April 7, 8, June 25, 27 – 2020

Orhan Demir Trio, Guitar Plus
Orhan Demir – Guitar, Guitar synth.
Neil Swainson – Acoustic Bass
Barry Elmes – Drums

All Compositions by Orhan Demir

Recording Dates

March 9,10,17,18,19 -1998

Freedom in Jazz

Orhan Demir – Guitar

All Compositions by Orhan Demir

Recording Dates

January 20, 21, 24, 25 – 2019

Orhan Demir Project, Hot Cargo

Orhan Demir – Guitar

Thomas Olejnicki – Bass, (Keyboards on track 4)
Perry Pansieri – Drums
Francois Briere – Tenor Sax, (Tracks 2,4,6,8,10)

All Compositions by Orhan Demir

Recording Dates

June 26 – 27 – 1992

Orhan Demir Trio, Originals, Vol.2

Orhan Demir – Guitar

Neil Swainson – Acoustic Bass (Tracks 1 to 5)
Barry Elmes – Drums (Tracks 1 to 5)

Rick Lazaroff – Electric Bass (Tracks 6 & 7)

Jack Vorvis – Drums (Tracks 6 & 7)

All Compositions by Orhan Demir
except “Infinity” (O.Demir, N. Swainson, B.Elmes).

Compilation CD from Demir`s first 3 records. Plus 4 unreleased tracks (#2,#8,#9,#10).

Recording Dates

Tracks: 1,4 (May 1988), Tracks: 6,7 (July 1989), Track: 2 (November 1986),
Track: 3 (February 1987), Track: 5 (March 1986), Tracks: 8,9,10 (February 1987).

Orhan Demir Trio, Originals
Orhan Demir – Electric, Acoustic Guitar
Neil Swainson – Acoustic Bass (Tracks 1 to 8)
Barry Elmes – Drums (Tracks 1 to 8)
Rick Lazaroff – Electric Bass (tracks 13,14)
Jack Vorvis – Drums (Tracks 13,14)

All Compositions by Orhan Demir

Recording Dates

This is a compilation CD from Demir`s four records.

Tracks: 1,2,3,6 (March 1986), Track 4 (November 1986), Tracks: 5,7,8 (May 1988)

Tracks: 13,14 (July 1989), Tracks: 9,10,11,12 (September 1990).


Born in Turkey and based in Canada, Orhan Demir has long been a highly original if obscure guitarist. His playing sometimes hints at his Eastern heritage along with modern jazz and fusion greats and one can hear traces of Django Reinhardt (particularly during the unaccompanied numbers), but he has long had his own voice. This set is a reissue of highlights from Demir’s first four records, trio dates with two different rhythm sections, plus four solo guitar numbers. The music (all 14 songs are by Demir) is quite definitive, ranging from the hyper “As Time Goes On” to some melancholy ballads, making this a perfect introduction to Demir’s music. SCOTT YANOW – AllMusic – 2003


Faster than a Stealth bomber, the Orhan Demir Project is like nothing you`ve ever heard. Notes are launched in rapid succession as if destine to some far away universe. Demir is the most original guitarist on the planet. Imagine John McLaughlin, James “Blood” Ulmer and Captian Beefheart living in the body of a Middle East guitar legend who has made Canada his home for the past several decades. The closest tune to planet Earth is Blues For Bosphorus which begins with Demir bending pitches like B.B. King in long sweet lines, then, suddenly somebody pulls the pin and a barrage of lethal notes explode around you. Not for the faint of heart. By The Jazz Report Staff – JAZZ REPORT – SPRING 1993


Orhan Demir`s third album jumps out with a hurricane force on “Category Three” The tempo is lightning fast and Demir spirals out line after line of invention. It`s an exciting beginning to a great album.

Demir has a new rhythm section on this LP but it sounds as if they`ve been playing for a while. Special mention has to be made of bassist Lazaroff. The electric bass is not an instrument I`m fond of hearing in a jazz context. But Lazaroff pulls of no mean feat by making it sound like a natural as a jazz instrument. His tone is subtle, not overbearing and he glides effortlessly along the strings shading the notes as an acoustic player would.
The closest comparison to Demir`s style might be pre-Mahavishnu McLaughlin. And that`s a good place to be. It seems that`s where jazz guitar development started to go wrong. Demir has the technique and the ideas and he doesn`t need to crank up the volume or resort to some effects boxes to bring it across.

His compositions are varied. In addition to two fingerbusters (Category Three and Liberty square) there`s a strange blues line “Windmill”, “Dublex Planet”, an uptempo line that evolves into a slow, moody chordal exploration, and “Orient Express,” a free piece. If anyone is interested in the guitar, he/she should check out Demir. He`s a player of great imagination, technique and wit. ROBERT IANNAPOLLO – CADENCE – MAY 1990


The first thing to notice on the Orhan Demir Trio’s fascinating Guitar Plus (Hittite HTT-2007; 57:59) is the raw, almost scratching production style on the be-bopping title track. This up-close, dramatically bare feel echoes `50s beatnik club jazz, and should serve as a warning that Demir and company will be squarely in-your-face for the next hour. This is a tremendous opportunity for guitar fans to experience Demir`s searingly fast fretwork and improvisation on a visceral level. The Turkish-born guitarist rages through flights of improvisation and experiments with guitar-synth tone on wild tunes like “Lumberyard” (buzz-saw fuzz guitar over be-bop jazz bass and drums) and “El Nino” (a creepy electronic-Latin fusion hybrid), showcasing an endlessly fascinating technique. Demir`s Eastern influences surface most prominently on “Orpheus” and “Goodbye Princess,” with dissonant chords punctuating each phrase, creating waves of anguish and reminiscence. Guitar Plus is a must for anyone who aspires to use the instrument as a freeform, emotional paintbrush; but others be warned: it`s also an exhausting listening experience. HILARIE GREY – JAZZ TIMES – MARCH 1999

ORHAN DEMIR TRIO, The Way I See You / North West

Canadian ORHAN DEMIR is an incredible, even legendary guitarist who must be heard to be believed. On these two Canadian releases, his uncanny facility, mind-boggling speed and clean execution bring to mind such greats as Django Reinhardt, Tal Farlow, Pat Martino and John McLaughlin. Add to that a passionate intensity and Coltrane-like conviction, and you have one amazing plectorist.

Both of these great albums feature Orhan`s originals and highlight his stunning technique in a number of settings, each one bristling with vitality and fertile ideas. Acoustic bassist Neil Swainson`s big, round tone anchors this trio as drummer Barry Elmes traverses his kit like a Canadian Elvin Jones, coloring each tune with a melodic approach that implies the beat rather than blatantly stating it.

On The Way I See You, Demir and company charge out of the gate with a vengeance. The opener, “As Time Goes On,”is an incredible, uptempo burner-six-and-a-half minutes of mindboggling chops over a relentlessly swinging rhythm section. On the title cut, a more arranged affair with occasional bass/guitar unison lines. Demir floats over a walking, mid-tempo loose-bop groove, interjecting staccato bursts of single notes that strike like machine-gun fire. And on “In Favor,” a melancholy meditation, Elmes` gentle brushwork paints a dreamy landscape as Demir chords the melody with lush textures from his warm-sounding Gibson hollow body.

On the flip side, the trio explores some lofty territory on “Allah Supreme,” super-uptempo vehicle recalling the energy and heightened playing of John Coltrane`s “A Love Supreme.” Demir`s quicksilver lines fly by in a blur, in the vein of Coltrane`s fabled “sheets of sound.” And on the unaccompanied “Improvisation,” the guitarist displays incredible right-hand picking technique, frantically skipping strings while simultaneously shaping the piece with orchestral voicings.

North West is no less impressive, with its hyper-speed, Tal Farlow-type fret-board flash on “Joy,” Mid-Eastern scales on the sensitive ballad, “Swainsong,”and more Flight-Of-The-Bumble-Bee single-note lines on the Latin groove of “Satellite Service.”

Demir`s sheer command of his instrument is astonishing, and, spurred by the interplay of his cohorts, he reaches some breathtaking heights.

ORHAN DEMIR TRIO, The Way I see you

Speed can be trap for the younger player, many of whom misperceive it as the most telling means of demonstrating chops. All too often, however, velocity is all one gets in these displays. Not so with Orhan Demir, a young Toronto – based guitarist whose speed of execution is little short of prodigious and must be heard to be believed. He can play with such blistering rapidity and at such mind-numbing length that this aspect of his abilities may blind one to the more solid virtues his music possesses. A native of Turkey who took up guitar upon emigrating to Canada at the age of 23. Demir`s music fuses Middle-Eastern, jazz, and rock disciplines in proportions that vary from composition to composition, producing an approach of great individuality and seizing power. While there are fugitive allusions in his playing to the work of, among others, John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell. Demir is very much his own man, bearing comparison with literally no other player, guitarist or otherwise. The first of six originals, As Time Goes On, derives its expressive power from the unrelenting velocity and accumulating density of his playing. It possesses a striking coherence of design and execution of which few pieces of this sort rarely, if ever, attain-sort of guitaristic version of Coltrane`s sheets of sound. Again like Coltrane, other of Demir`s compositions hew to a more spiritual line – Allah Supreme, In Favor, and Improvisation, for examples, and are treated in a manner befitting their composer`s intent. The emphathetic, interactive playing of bassist Neil Swainson and especially drummer Barry Elmes contribute tellingly to the music, helping it bristle with vitality and fervor. If for no other reason than the phenomenal As Time Goes by, you definitely should seek this album out. PETE WELDING – DOWN BEAT – MAY 1988