Fuat Tuaç is a vocalist who began his jazz journey by singing in his hometown of Istanbul, Turkey.
In 2011, he moved to Montreal to study jazz and very quickly took up residencies at some of the local bars and clubs, as well as performing and facilitating jam sessions with other musicians.
Tuaç sings in five different languages and has an eclectic repertoire. He released his debut album Late Bloomer in 2017, and he’s currently working on his second album called The Immigrant, due in early 2021.
For the New Music Spotlight, Tuaç told us more about what to expect from this new record.
What has the experience been like putting together this new album, The Immigrant?
It’s autobiographical, just like my first album. I’m going to be singing in three languages: English, French and the immigrant language, Turkish. I will cover some of the standards that I really like, and some traditional Turkish songs will be revisited in the jazz style, and there are some songs that are quite reflective of the COVID-19 period. There are songs that I started writing or finished during this period, and that I’m still trying to finish.
When you’re singing in different languages, are there songs in one language that you’ve loved that you’ve tried to translate to another?
I love singing in all the languages. It’s just beautiful that every language adds a different colour to each song. For instance, the French songs are more connected, the way we sing it. English is more crisp. And I can’t be objective about Turkish, because it’s my own language.
With the release of his debut CD, Turkish/Canadian vocalist, Fuat Tuaç has presented an intriguing, multicultural jazz recording, comprised of freshly arranged, under-trodden standards and Tuaç’s original title track. He is joined here by a superb group of musicians, including Paul Shrofel on piano, Dave Watts on bass, Richard Irwin on drums and Dave Turner on saxophone. Tuaç is equally comfortable singing in English, French, Turkish, Portuguese and Italian – easily capturing the lyrical essences of each language.
Manha de Carnaval (A Day in the Life of a Fool) is a standout. The rich, rhythmic arrangement is enhanced by Turner’s warm, mellifluous alto lines, which soon metamorphose into a gymnastic and powerful solo; Tuaç’s acoustic, unvarnished, exotic sound is beautifully complemented in this Luis Bonfa classic. Another highlight is Ellington’s Caravan. Profound, throbbing bass lines from Watts and Eastern rhythmic patterns succinctly executed by Irwin define this interpretation, as Tuaç seamlessly segues between straight ahead bop and heady pentatonic vocal motifs. The scent of exotic spices and the sight of auburn-tinged Bedouin tents are almost palpable here.
Two additional highlights include a vigorous and contemporary rendition of Chick Corea’s Spain, in which Shrofel’s luminous musicianship and Irwin’s inventive, Iberian and rock-steady propulsion are featured; and also the cinematic Rendez-vous vers huit heures (Drault), which is an elegantly performed possible movie theme in search of a black and white French film – Tuaç is reminiscent of the late Charles Aznavour here... musical, mysterious, evocative and très sensual!