By Scott Yanow
January 2012

a.k. steps out
(Cengiz Yaltkaya and Marc Doten)

Pianist Cengiz Yaltkaya was born in Istanbul, Turkey, spent his high school years in Switzerland and moved to New York in 1967.  He studied at Berklee, was an arranger and producer on the staff of Atlantic Records during 1976-86, and became busy as a composer for films and musical theater.  He has lived in Los Angeles since 1995 and has since been active on the local jazz scene in addition to appearing at jazz festivals overseas.

Cengiz Yaltkaya’s latest recording a. k. steps out, teams with bassist Greg Swiller and drummer Bill Wysaske on 11 originals.  The music ranges from brooding pieces that have Swiller purposely playing a repetitious bass pattern (particularly “a.k. steps out” and “Lucky Seven”) to swinging pieces.   Throughout the set, the chord changes are original, the close interplay by the members of the trio is impressive, the musicianship is top notch and the music is unpredictable yet logical.

Cengiz Yaltkaya and his trio succedd in moving the mainstream of jazz ahead in creating ways, a.k. steps out is well worth checking out and available from www.jazzkaya.com.

Jordan Times
By Jean-Claude Elias
6 June, 2010

AMMAN - His studio album "Almost Real", just two years ago, was a fine collaboration with guitarist Joe Gaeta. Cengiz Yaltkaya now is back with "A.K. Steps Out", a recording that transcends the ultimate jazz acoustic ensemble: piano, bass and drums. Besides, the CD is presented as an album by the "Cengiz Yaltkaya Trio", with Yaltkaya on piano, Greg Swiller on bass and Bill Wysaske on drums. The result is a great jazz CD.

The album features 11 pieces, all written by Yaltkaya. Seven are originals and four have been previously released on other albums by Yaltkaya. The CD brings a bit of all the elements that come together to make good jazz music: the swing, the rhythm, the syncopation, the harmonies, and perhaps before anything else, the symbiosis between the performers and the magic pianistic touch of Yaltkaya.

The trio generates a new, fresh sound while maintaining a classic approach to the art. "UpDown Connection" for instance features a catchy, almost lyrical theme, one that is reminiscent of the great jazz trios or quartets of the 1950s-1960s.

"Something Happened to Mary" is a slow, slightly, but not excessively, bluesy, superb number. It is the kind you would like to listen to after midnight, to cool off and to relax. It is played with gentle, almost impressionistic chords on the piano, something that Yaltkaya usually does very well.

The title track, "A.K. Steps Out" starts with a simple 3-note, straight bass line repeated pattern that becomes very interesting when the more rhythmically challenging piano part comes to blend with it, overlapping and creating a great jazz piece. Lasting more than 10 minutes, it is a rather long one, the longest of the album. It includes a superb bass solo part that privileges the quiet beauty of the phrasing instead of the usual virtuosic show off.

The rhythmic experience continues with what is titled "Very Bassic", as per Yaltkaya`s typical sense of humour! The piece opens with a somewhat exotic rhythm only to move into a good old 4/4 swing, complete with walking bass, after a few bars. The musicians return to the exotic part towards the end.

"Dustin` Away" is my favourite, perhaps because of the piano theme. I really dig the way it combines with the bass and the drums. And then when Yaltkaya works the main theme into more intricate phrases he manages to preserve its beauty while exploring all the side roads. So does Swiller with the bass solo.

"The Day Before" is another slow number that lets the musicians display flair and savoir faire. Something in the harmonies and the phrases conjured up distant sounds from French composer Michel Legrand and others from legendary pianist Bill Evans. Well, to my ears at least.

"Squint This", just like "A.K. Steps Out" is constructed with the smart backdrop of a rather square bass line on top of which the piano's not-so-square right hand comes to do an absolutely wonderful job, catching 100 per cent of the listener's attention, pumping the adrenaline.

"The Day Before", "Squint This", and "Visits" (track 10 here) were first recorded in 2003 on the album titled "Visits", albeit with different arrangements. Back then Yaltakaya performed the three pieces with vibraphonist Eldad Tarmu. "Dustin` Away" was first released on the "Almost Real" album in 2008, again with different arrangements; Yaltkaya was playing with guitarist Joe Gaeta.

The new album is produced by Cengiz Yaltkaya and Marc Dolan. The sound is very pure, very clean, with "no preservatives added" I would say - understand very little post processing - and for a good reason: It does not need any. The music is great enough as it is, and the musicians` performance is truly first class.

The style of Yaltkaya is mainly characterised by finesse and elegance. The classical background of the musician may have something to do with these traits. Yaltkaya came and performed in Jordan in November 2006.

Review from the leading newspaper in Turkey

Click here to read full article

By Bob Comden

December 2009


Pianist Cengiz Yaltkaya performed a one-night engagement at Upstair’s at Vitello’s in October.  He called his evening The Cengiz Show.  Yaltkaya is a marvelous pianist and composer who was born in Turkey and moved to Geneva, Switzerland with his family when he was 13-years old.  His father was an accomplished concert pianist.  Yaltkaya graduated from the School of Economics at NY and studied arrangement and composing at Berklee College of Music.  He also attended the Juilliard School of Music He joined the staff of Atlantic Recording Corporation as an arranger and producer.  When not busy there he was doing musical theater and freelanced as a film composer, becoming a member of BMI.  In 1995 Yaltkaya permanently moved to L.A. He is currently very active as a freelance jazz pianist and composer.  He has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe.  He has several CDs out, most recently, Visits
With vibe player Eldad Tarmu and Almost Real with Joe Gaeta.

I have known Yaltkaya for many years and have played on bands with him.  He’s a very fine pianist with his own unique style.  I understand they had a great crowd for the first set at Vitello’s.  Yaltkaya was backed by Greg Swiller on bass and drummer Bill Wysaske.  During the first set April Williams sang “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Cheek to Cheek”.  Shirlee Kong, another fine singer, did “Devil May Care” and “Poor Butterfly.”  I was only able to catch the end of the second set.  Yaltkaya did a great rendition of “Blue Rondo a la Turk” in 9/8 time that went into a straight ahead, swinging groove.  The rhythm section kept a strong jazzy feel throughout as Yaltkaya explored his full keyboard, making for one outstanding solo.  Swiller’s bass solo was so fine.  I enjoyed their version a lot.  “Up Down Connection,” an original by Yaltkaya, had references to the New York subway system.  This one had a pretty theme, done in a straight forward manner.  Yaltkaya added a very tasty solo.  His fresh approach gives him an edge as a pianist. Wysaske led the trio with strong, propulsive drumming.  Swiller also laid it down, hitting his bass strings with such authority.

“Funkadaro,” by Bill Evans, is a tune not often played and Yaltkaya’s version was outstanding.  The only standard played was “Istanbul.”  Some of the other tunes played were “Triads,” “Lucky 7,” “Very Basie,” “Old Fashion for Joan” and “Something Happened to Mary.”

It was nice to see such fine musicians as Yaltkaya’s trio getting a chance to be heard and so well received by the audience.  After their gig at Vitello’s the trio is embarking on a tour of Turkey, taking them to such places as Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya.

By Jim Santanella
March 2009

Almost Real

Guitarist Joe Gaeta and pianist Cengiz Yaltkaya interpret 14 songs on this duo album with a few nods to great songs and great songwriters as well as plenty of original material. Cathy Segal-Garcia joins them on Gaeta’s “Song for Autumn” with heartfelt ballad charms that ooze like honey from a sleeping beehive. It’s a lyrical program rooted in storytelling and expressed through the language of straight-ahead jazz. Gaeta recalls the essence of Joe Pass in his technique as he balances melody with rhythm at every turn. Yaltkaya complements the guitarist well with block chords, romping downhill strokes, and plenty of solo spirit.

As one could guess by its title, “Area 51” brings an anxious spirit into the room with an upbeat rhythmic texture that takes both artists for a spin. Gaeta closes with an eerie chord to belie the song’s story. “Down Here on the Ground” tells the instrumental story of two partners who have both feet on the ground, while “Homer’s Blues” dives deep into the blues idiom with relish. A personal favorite, this latter selection allows room for the guitarist and pianist to paint the blues with an inspirational brush that’s laden with feelings, Yaltkaya’s “Dustin’ Away” drives hard with mileposts flying by, but at a moderate pace. This one, like the album’s title track, recalls Wes Montgomery and the lyrical approach to jazz that he espoused. Gaeta and Yaltkaya feel it in their bones with each part of the program.

Jordan Times
By Jean-Claude Elias
11 May 2008

AMMAN - Rarely have the piano and the guitar sounded so great together in jazz, without the traditional support of the bass and the drums. Perhaps the reason is that guitarist Joe Gaeta and pianist Cengiz Yaltkaya are seasoned, authentic artists. It is not only the terrific sound per se that is unique, but also the amazing arrangements that make the two, rarely heard alone together, instruments such a treat.

“Almost Real” is a CD where the two American musicians show their talent as performers and as composers too. The album was officially out on the street on May 6, just four days ago. Yaltkaya who was in Jordan in November 2006 with fellow bass player Mark Boykin and played at the Dunes Club, was kind enough to send me a copy of the disc.
The pieces on the album are mainly Gaeta’s composition. Others are known jazz standards and one is Yaltkaya’s own contribution.

“Dustin Away” written by Yaltkaya has a pleasant, euphonic theme that makes it easy for those not familiar with jazz improvisation to “follow”. Besides, the musicians never venture too far away from the main line here.

With “Besame Mucho” as track three, I thought I would be adding just one more item to my own collection of “Besame Muchos” that already includes versions as different as those by the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Cesaria Evora or Diana Krall. But this is not “just another version”. Although the main theme remains the same, Yaltkaya and Gaeta perform exquisite music and blow new life into Velazquez’s well-known piece with the jazz waltz spirit instead of the bolero or other Latin flavour it usually comes with.

“Area 51” is almost contrapuntal. The two instruments are so well blended together that, by moments at least, only careful listening will let you figure out who is playing what.
Music played by Gaeta and Yaltkaya is all about finesse. The intricate left hand patterns of the piano, the timely walking “bass” lines (Del Sasser) that Gaeta emulates on his six-string instrument and the deceptively easy improvisation can only come from the irreplaceable combination of talent, taste, technical prowess and a lot, a lot of experience.
The two musicians do a particularly fine job on the standard “Down here on the Ground”. It’s slow, cool and relaxing.

“Almost Real” is an album that remains true to classic jazz. The clean sound of the two instruments, the very bright and very percussive Kanbe grand piano that Yaltkaya plays here and the refined hollow body electric guitar of Gaeta are what makes good jazz music a bit of heaven on earth. But what is really outstanding here is the intelligence of the arrangements that have been made for piano and guitar.

The quality of Gaeta’s guitar performance reminds us of other greats like Wes Montgomery, Anthony Wilson (particularly known for performing with Diana Krall in her Paris’ concert) or master Joe Pass. Besides, there must be, a piece by Montgomery on the album: it is “Jingles”.

From the intentionally blurred front cover photo to the back cover shot taken in Paris’ legendary art quarter Saint Germain des Pres, and of course before anything else the subtlety of the music, not forgetting the beautiful lyrics of the melancholic “Song for Autumn”, the only song on the disc, everything on the album points to poetry.

The album is very well recorded, doing justice to the instruments and to the musicians. It is produced by Yaltkaya and Gaeta for Rhombus Records and was recorded and mixed by Marco Piali and Randall Derchan. As far as I am concerned this is the kind of disc you like a bit more every time you play it.

Getting in tune with that L.A. vibe
Steve Lopez

June 24, 2007

Dear friends:

I'm here at the Hollywood Farmers Market and thought I'd fire off this quick postcard.

You know what I love about the place? Smoke from the grills, sunlight on brick, the human centipede that marches past all the organic food stalls. Pupusas and tamales, Gouda and mushrooms. Organic cherries and Harry's Berries.

And the music. There's this cat Carl Tassi in his Panama hat, a singing jazz drummer. Eleven years in the same spot and so West Coast cool, a little bit of Mose Allison with Chet Baker and Annie Ross mixed in. Here, listen to this from Tassi's song "Small Day Tomorrow" [written by Bob Dorough]:

I don't have to go to bed

I've got a small day tomorrow

Small day tomorrow

I don't have to use my head

I've got a small day tomorrow

I can sleep the day away

And it will cause no sorrow

Not tomorrow.

You know what's fun to do? Next time you're here, try this:

Stand behind the band.

Behind Austin Nicholsen on upright bass (the kid's in his 20s and eats organic sprouts on breaks), and Cengiz Yaltkaya on keyboards, and last week Ben Hurwitz, an 85-year-old trumpeter.

You've got to see these guys, but don't miss the real show: the people walking by.

It's L.A. on parade. The old and new, stroller for two. The dreadlocks and comb-overs, the hipsters and farmers.

You see grannies and toddlers do a little bounce step when the music hits them. The best, says Tassi, is to see some guy up at the corner of Ivar and Selma, catch him tapping his foot. Is that for Tassi's band? Yes, look at that. He's tapping in rhythm, and next thing you know he follows the sound and drops a buck in the basket and says thanks, that last song made his day.

It could have been "Blue Skies" or "Gypsy in My Soul." It could have been "I Love the Life I Live (And I Live the Life I Love)."

Tassi's life fits into the trunk of a red Mazda Miata convertible. The drums and the amp. What else does he need? No, he never broke out big, but what's wrong with Hollywood on a Sunday morning?

Dozens of gigs have come his way here. No, hundreds! The people who come down out of those hills for fresh arugula and heirloom tomatoes like their music organic too. Tassi can't remember all the parties he's played in 11 years. Weddings and bar mitzvahs. Birthdays and Christmas.

"I just like their sound," says Don Murphy, a regular who also enjoys the bluegrass band and the reggae guy who gets all the kids drumming along with him. "The story I'd like to know about is the blind guy who plays flamenco guitar."

That's easy. His name is Pepe Viramontes, 69, born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and blind since he was a toddler. Like Tassi, the farmers market gig gets him jobs at birthdays and weddings.

The sun is high in the sky now. The vegetables are baking and Tassi's band is cooking.

The thing about L.A. is that you can't define it, sum it up neatly or pretend to have found it. But I always feel like I'm getting closer to knowing it when I'm here where little Caroline always wants the grilled corn on the cob and Alison is always bumping into Sheila or Hillary, and Carl Tassi's band makes Sunday morning so familiar.

Honey child tonight's the night

And there's a car I can borrow

Til tomorrow

We can swing til broad daylight

I've got a small day tomorrow.


Yaltkaya and Boykin — an exceptional jazz event
By Jean-Claude Elias

AMMAN — Flying from Los Angeles and in Amman for two days, pianist Cengiz Yaltkaya and bassist Mark Boykin did more than just play good jazz. They instilled the true spirit of their art and created an atmosphere like only those deeply, genuinely in love with jazz and completely immersed in it can. It started with an enlightening master class held at the National Music Conservatory (NMC – Noor Al Hussein Foundation) Sunday afternoon for a small but avid group of local, jazz-thirsty musicians aged from 15 to 60. This was followed by a short performance at the Sheraton Hotel the same day and climaxed with a concert at the Dunes Club Monday night.

Yaltkaya oozes jazz. Even when playing a few Beatles’ songs just for fun, he makes them sound very jazzy. His performance at the Dunes Club delighted the audience and entertained with known pieces like Caravan, Take Five, Blue Bossa or Blue Rondo a la Turk, but also with less known ones. Whether playing fast numbers or slower ones, straight 4/4 swing or more esoteric time signatures, Yaltkaya and his indispensable partner in crime Boykin brilliantly managed to give the audience a jazz night to remember.
The 40-minute first part of the concert allowed Yaltkaya to warm up and set the tone. The second part raised the room’s temperature a bit more and took the musicians to even more daring improvisation. No element was left out of the exploration: Tempi, harmonies, rhythms and acrobatic virtuosity. From the audience feedback it was clear that many were not only jazz lovers, but true connoisseurs.

Every now and then Turkish-American Yaltkaya would introduce an Oriental pattern in his improvisations, something that was really appreciated by the audience. Pieces like Caravan and Blue Rondo a la Turk were particularly suited for such ventures. The fact that the musicians were evidently having a good time playing helped create a warm, pleasant atmosphere.

Beyond jazz, however, what was also obvious is Yaltkaya’s extensive experience both as a musician and as a pianist. His academic credentials are more than impressive and his more than 50 years of experience have taken him to work as a composer, an arranger and a conductor too. He is currently a freelance pianist in Los Angeles where he often does live performances and recordings. His name can be associated with the prestigious Berklee and Juilliard schools of music and renowned musicians like the great Sir Roland Hanna.

The success of Yaltkaya and Boykin’s performances in Amman were such that a second tour here in Jordan was already being discussed for next year.

Carl Tassi,
Waiting for the Bread,
By Alan Bargebuhr
Cadence Magazine
September 2006

His bio dictates that he has toured Europe playing Jazz piano from Morocco to Scotland, and on and on. His long and detailed internet biography announces him as "pianist/composer," and there's little doubt he's precisely that ...and more.   His Hard Bop proclivities have been noted earlier in these pages, in a review of an Eldad Tarmu date (9/01, p.118), and here, with Carl Tassi, he does nothing to disabuse one from being attracted to his economically thoughtful, rhythmically resourceful ability to swing with gusto.   It's easy to hear that he's honed his attack down from that earlier date's Tyner/Hancock insistence, to something more like a Kenny Barron lyricism, a better fit for his role here as accompanist.   His taste and touch are impressive, as his way of finding melodic resolution.

So, Carl Tassi's drumming and vocalizing are amiable enough, and might serve some narcotic purpose while you're relaxing and letting your thoughts drift, but this disc's higher value is in elevating Cengiz Yaltkaya's aural visibility. Sadly, I have the feeling that scattered distribution may thwart his becoming significantly better known on the strength of this particular CD.

Of Turkey and jazz
By Jean-Claude Elias
The Jordan Times
Amman, Jordan

Sunday, September 25, 2005

AMMAN — When a friend recently brought me a jazz CD title "Visits," he started by asking me how much I knew about Turkish jazz before handing me the disc. The only piece that came to mind was Dave Brubeck's celebrated "Blue Rondo à la Turk" from 1962, which of course had not much inspiration from Turkey except for the title and the remotely Oriental originality of its rhythmical structure. Indeed it was written in with a 9/8 time signature and notes were grouped in a 2-2-2-3 pattern instead of 3-3-3.

"Visits" is a great set of modern jazz featuring Cengiz Yaltkaya on piano and Eldad Tarmu on vibraphone. The combination in itself is unusual. It is the first time I have the chance to listen to the two instruments together, without a band. Yaltkaya has written all of the eight pieces on the CD. Rather than Turkish jazz, the notes accompanying the CD call it Middle
Eastern Jazz — rightly so.

"Casual Friday Blues" opens with a repetitive pattern played on the piano with the left hand. It serves as a foundation for the vibraphone. It also sets the tone for the album; modern jazz but not completely detached from more traditional style. It remains easy to listen to and would not deter those not really familiar with jazz. The harmonies between the piano and the vibraphone are smartly crafted and greatly contribute to generating the album's atmosphere. They come to sound as if they were written for two vocalists, not for two keyboards. Track two, "Squint This" is based on an almost obsessive piano part; it is
played with a fast tempo. Track three, "The Day Before" comes to cool things off a bit. It conjures up accents of Brazilian music, like for instance Eliane Elias when she plays Jobim's compositions. It is played with taste and sensitivity and could do wonders in terms of relaxation and daydreaming."Orient Circle," despite its daring contemporary harmonies, manages to bring the Orient to one's mind, thanks to its rhythm mainly.
"Gladys Gladys" is another slow number but doesn't seem to convey as much inspiration as "The Day Before." "If You Care" allows Yaltkaya and Tarmu to impress the listener with
amazing synchronisation and perfect blending of both instruments. Musically speaking, however, this composition sounds more like a difficult technical exercise than beautiful music.

"Visits" concludes the eponymous album. Delicate textures and softly played piano chords constitute a superb piece of authentic jazz. Alone it justifies buying the disc. It belongs to the repertoire of jazz great pianists: Brubeck, Evans or Monk.

As difficult or elusive as a good definition of jazz may be, Yaltkaya and Tarmu have signed an album that comes to confirm at least its two main components: Creativity and freedom of expression. "Visits" greatly succeeds in both.

All tracks were recorded in California. Yaltkaya has written several film scores and is well known in the world jazz community. I heard rumours that he may soon come to perform in Amman.

Le Jazz Hot Magazine Review - Sept 2004 - Paris, France
Cengiz Yalkaya (p), Eldad Tarmu (vib)

Enregistri ` Los Angeles, date non communiquie Fever pitch productions 1002-2

La diaspora turque du jazz est prisente sur tous les points du globe. En France, elle est reprisentie par Tuna Otenel (de passage) et l'ancien ; Ahmet G|lbay. En Californie, le vibraphoniste Eldad Tarmu cttoie le pianiste Cengiz Yaltkaya (partenaire du trompettiste Elliott Caine). Ensemble, ils ont collabori ` diffirents projets allant de la musique latine ` la musique commerciale en passant par les chansons enfantines et bien sur, le jazz. Visits est un projet qui s'articule autour d'un dialogue entre deux instruments : le piano et le vibraphone. Chacun ` son tour l'un des deux musiciens ouvre le propos. De fagon plus inergique pour le pianiste (Squint This), plus dilicate pour le vibraphoniste (Casual Friday Blues). Les compositions, toutes de Yaltkaya, sont autant d'iliments qui permettent de ressentir ce que les musiciens posshdent en eux. Concernant le jazz. tel qu'il est difini dans votre magazine, il fluctue au gri des morceaux. +Casual Friday Blues; sonne moins bleu que +Squint This ;, qui binificie d'un bon tempo de Cengiz Yaltkaya et d'excellentes envolies milodiques des deux comphres. +Orient Circle; ivoque +Caravan ; avec de beaux entrelacs entre les deux sonoritis. Enfin, sur + A Sykes Sighting ;, le pianiste est en itat de grbce, le vibraphone devenant alors un prolongement du piano. Cet album timoigne de leur immersion dans l'univers des studios hollywoodiens (+The Day Before ;), de leur mutuelle estime.

Michel Maestracci

“CD: Visits”
Eldad Tarmu/Cengiz Yaltkaya

Vibraphonist Eldad Tarmu and pianist Cengiz Yaltkaya have performed together in a variety of settings during the past five years. This particular project is a set of duets featuring the talented pair as they dig into eight of Yaltkaya’s originals.
Although the music is slightly reminiscent of Gary Burton’s duet projects with Makoto Ozone and Chick Corea, both Tarmu and Yaltkaya have their own styles and sounds within the jazz modern mainstream.
Their improvisations are such a logical part of the compositions, and vice versa, that there are times when it is difficult to know when the duo is playing written music and when they are ad-libbing. They often think as one and their musical communication is very close, so there are no missteps along the way. Of the eight pieces, the driving repetition on "Squint This," the warm ballad "The Day Before," and the jazz waltz "Visits" are standouts although all of the selections have their stimulating moments.
This is one of those recordings that grow in interest with each listen.

Scott Yanow (Jazz Writer)
has been writing about jazz since 1975. He was the jazz editor of Record Review during its entire existence (1976-84), has been a free-lancer since 1983, and has written for Down Beat, Jazz Times and Jazz forum.

He is currently a regular contributor to ten magazines including Jazziz, Cadence, Coda, the L.A. Jazz Scene, the Mississippi Rag and the Jazz Report. In addition, he has written over 100 liner notes, was a contributor to the New Grove Dictionary and assisted on the fourth edition of Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler’s Encyclopedia of Jazz. It is his goal to collect every good jazz record ever made and to have time to listen to them.

Scott Yanow, Los Angeles Jazz Scene, February 2004

“CD: Visits”
“Eldad Tarmu/Cengiz Yaltkaya

With all the attention typically paid to the film and TV industry, it is easy to overlook some excellent straight-ahead jazz here in Los Angeles. Pianist Cengiz Yaltkaya ‘76 has produced a new CD entitled Visits that features eight of his original jazz compositions, all duets with vibraphonist Eldad Tarmu.
Inspired by Yaltkaya’s recent world tour with Tarmu, Visits captures the influences of multiple cultures and turns them into an inspiring musical experience.
Berklee Times by Peter Gordon ‘78, Director, Berklee Center in Los Angeles, L.A. Newsbriefs Spring I 2004

Director Elliot Woodruff and musical director Cengiz Yaltkaya keep the proceedings mellow and engagingly unpretentious.
L.A. Weekly, March 2002

The second set opened with "Float Above the Rain", a medium waltz that was influenced by Bill Evans and was a showcase for Yaltkaya’ s marvelous piano playing.
L.A. Jazz Scene, April 2000

Pike and co-composer Cengiz Yaltkaya use the "plot" as an excuse to string together 15 songs: riffs on blues, gospel and boogie-woogie stylings, accompanied by a fine four-piece combo.
Steven Leigh Morris, L.A. Weekly, January 1999

Eldad Tarmu was backed by the splendid work of Cengiz Yaltkaya at the piano.
Bob Agnew, L.A. Jazz Scene, December 1999

I enjoyed the group and their energy. Come and check them out for some classic jazz.
L.A. Jazz Scene, August 1998

The play’s most entertaining moments come from the jazzy score by music director Cengiz Yaltkaya (keyboard), performed along with Jim Crandall (guitar) and Tom Winnick (percussion). The rousing numbers range from gospel to blues ballads to bawdy ballroom ditties.
Les Spindle Backstage West , July 1996

The film is scored brillantly by Cengiz Yaltkaya.
David Laubach, Valley Advocate, Springfield, MASS. , July 1984

Filling out the KC-styled arrangements of Cengiz Yaltkaya are coveys of concise solos by the horns.
Chuck Berg, Lawrence Journal-World , June 1979

Cengiz Yaltkaya appeared on WBUR’s "Studio B" program today as a member of a "Quartet". Incidently, he is one of the finest pianists I’ve had on the show.
Robert Battles, Producer/Announcer Boston University, WBUR 90.9 FM, February 1975

Cengiz Yaltkaya’s marimba playing and his background musical score are the dominant contrast during much of the heoes’ unreventful trek through New York parks.
Film Reviews