The sounds of the Middle East are incorporated into the imaginative, jazz-inspired improvisations of Turkish-born and Toronto-based guitarist Orhan Demir. An extremely flexible instrumentalist, Demir is a master at creating melodic, single-note passages that recall the playing of Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, and Pat Martino. Yet, his wizardry is equally apparent on high-energy, rock-influenced pieces reminiscent of such fusion guitarists as John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell.
Discovering jazz after moving to Canada at the age of 14, Demir acquired his first guitar shortly afterwards. While he released a solo acoustic guitar album, Sultan of Strings, of mainstream jazz classics, he primarily works in a small-group setting. Four of his albums -- The Way I See You, North West, Guitar Plus, and Originals -- were recorded as a trio featuring bassist Neil Swainson and drummer Barry Elmes. He used a different trio, with Rick Lazaroff on bass and Jack Vorvis on drums, on his album Windmill. Tenor saxophonist Francois Briere was featured on Demir's album Hot Cargo. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi