The promise

by Mehmet Polat

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Firefighters 06:23
Pathfinder 07:01
Footprints 05:10
Permission 04:27
Șirin ezanım ke toș zamdari Wek mın awdali xunçey bahari Hiway to yeke, Hiway mın hezar Mın bèzar nebım, to boş bèzari
Nêterseno 07:17
Kamo ke asıqo can ra nêterseno Asıq zîncîr û zindan ra nêterseno Zerya asıqî zê vergê vêsanîya O haylemê sayderî ra nêterseno


Mehmet Polat
The Promise

1- Firefighters
2- Nature hits back
3- Pathfinder
4- Footprints
5- Permission
6- Swinging in hands
7- Fidelity to İstanbul
8- Being the voice
9- Symbolizations
10- Nêterseno
11- Nothing is yours
12- My cultural womb

*All compositions by Mehmet Polat

Guest musicians:
Alper Kekeç frame drums and darbuka – track 3,4,7,8
Cemil Qocgiri tenbur – track 10
Daniel van Huffelen bass – track 1,6,12
Elnur Mikayılov kamancha – track 5
Joan Terol Amigo drums – track 1,6,12
Mikail Aslan vocals & clarinet – track 10
Ruven Ruppik Cajon, Bombo legüero, Snare, Doira, Gome, Udu, Effects, cymbals and palmas – track 2,5,10
Shwan Sulaiman vocals – track 8
Sinan Arat ney – track 4

Aftab records

‘The promise’ album gave me a great chance to explore myself. My melodies keep me alive, feeling creative, inspired and productive.
Like my previous 4 albums, this album offered me many challenges to develop my skills in solo playing, improvising, composing, arranging and creating different musical textures via various guest musicians.
Music is my main language, through which I can feel and express all my thoughts and emotions. Composing for me is like building a house. All the twelve pieces in this album are unique in their own ways, but they are still related to each other. Like twelve houses on the same street, all different but with relations between them.
Arranging a composition is like giving water to a seed, so the seed grows into a plant and flourishes
During the recordings all of my guest musician colleagues made priceless contributions. Working in the studio with Alex Geurink was a great pleasure, together we could find the right sound and effects.

I chose Firefighters to start the album with. In this composition I am exploring my traditions in jazz sound.

Every time when I play or listen to Nature hits back, it goes deeper into my heart. I am fascinated by how much I can say with music, rather than with words.

I dedicate Pathfinder to the beautiful people who have had a generously positive effect on my life. I played this composition as if it was storytelling.

My way of creating contemporary musical elements within traditions, as in Footprints, is via uncommon syncopations of melodies and grooves. Sinan Arat on ney and Alper Kekeç on frame drums played beautiful solos here.

For Permission I was inspired with the idiom Gönül rızası, which means ‘consent with full heart’ in Turkish. Here my melodies are in a very specific Persian makam ‘afshari’ and the rhythm is mostly bulerias, which is a Flamenco rhythm. Master of kamancha Elnur Mikayılov plays a great solo in this composition.

Swinging in hands is a cheerful piece in a jazz setting, with many influences from the East and Africa.

Fidelity to İstanbul is in hüzzam, which is a specific makam in Turkish Music. Hüzzam is a rather deep going melancholic makam with its characteristic microtonal intervals.
I dedicate this piece to my music teacher Fethi Cönk. He was a fan of this makam.

In Being the voice, Shwan Suleiman, the excellent soulful Kurdish singer sings a beautiful gazel by İbrahim Ahmed. Original in Sorani Kurdish:

Șirin ezanım ke toș zamdari
Wek mın awdali xunçey bahari
Hiway to yeke, Hiway mın hezar
Mın bèzar nebım, to bo bèzari

In English
Shirin, I know that you are wounded like me
You are in love with the spring buds like me
Your wish is one, mine is a thousand
If I am not wearied, why are you wearied?

In Turkish
Şirin biliyorum ki sen de benim gibi yaralısın
Benim gibi bahar goncalarına aşıksın
Senin dileğin birdir, benim dileğim bindir
Ben usanmadıysam sen neden usandım

My village Kısas is just 20 kilometers away from Göbeklitepe in Urfa, Turkey. Archeologists unveiled a temple of approximately 12000 years old there; it was full of symbols on the huge stone pillars.
In my compositions Symbolizations, I played on the grooves of my loop pedal. I used delay and distortion effects. This gave an extra layer to the album about the sound and usage capacity of ud in different ways.

Nêterseno has many stories in itself. It starts with a deep going melody. After the vocal improvisation we come with a faster melody on Rumba rhythm, as if a desertified land blossoms again. Great singer/composer Mikail Aslan sang this couplet by Baba Tahîrê Uryan. It was translated by Hewramani from Kurdish to Zazaki.

In Zazaki:
Kamo ke asıqo can ra nêterseno
Asıq zîncîr û zindan ra nêterseno
Zerya asıqî zê vergê vêsanîya
O haylemê sayderî ra nêterseno

In English
A true lover won’t be afraid of losing his/her life
Neither of chain, nor of prison
His/her heart is like a hungry wolf
This wolf won’t be afraid of the shepherd’s threatening

In Turkish
Aşık olan canından korkmaz
Zincirden, zindandan korkmaz
Aşığın gönlü aç bir kurt gibidir
Çobanın heyheyinden korkmaz

Cemil Qoçgiri accompanied to Mikail’s voice with his tembur. Mikail played also clarinet along the melody and he improvised together with the percussion solo of Ruven Ruppik.

The meaning of Nothing is yours is clear by its title. It is a way of expressing my sensitivity towards numerous heartbreaking stories from the world.

My cultural womb was the geography where I was born into, as great writer/poet Şükrü Erbaş defines. This culture will always -partly- live with me; it will sound through every piece of music that I will play.
I chose to play this composition is a jazz trio setting, because it represents also my current cultural mix. And this was influenced by many music sources.

Mixed&Mastered by Alex Geurink in Studio West Hoogland.
Photos by İzzet Aran.
Design by Studio Kechi.
This album was made possible with the support of Sena Performers Music Production Fund.


released June 10, 2020


all rights reserved



Mehmet Polat Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mehmet Polat is an ud player, composer, ensemble leader and soloist who tours internationally. From Africa to India, Persia to the Balkans, Contemporary to Jazz, he has been combining various musical genres with his Alevi Spiritual, Anatolian Folk and Ottoman classical music background. With this new left hand technique, he can play more advanced and modern pieces. ... more

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