Tav Stevig’s album Jeni Jol is a mash-up of music from the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey cultures. The music is calm, and makes the audience feel as if they are experiencing a different kind of music from a different culture.
Stevig began his music career later in life. After going to University of California, and receiving an Environmental Studies degree, Stevig tasked himself with learning to play the guitar. After a year, the talented guitar player enrolled himself in the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Stebig also started playing the oud, bağlama saz, tambura, laouto, and cümbüş.
After a trip to Turkey and experiencing the music of Erkan Oğur, Stevig decided to play a fretless guitar, in the claw hammer style. Playing this guitar gave Stevig the inspiration to create Jeni Jol.
Jeni Jol is Stevig’s biggest album, but not his first. It was released in 2013. There are 12 tracks on this album, and they all feature Stevig playing an instrument. The songs range around 4 minutes to 6. It is an instrumental album so it is expected to be long.
All of these tracks are incredible. The cultural music is so attractive to me because it’s soothing, and I just imagine traveling to the place that it describes. A favorite track of mine would have to be “Dinner At The Meades” because it sounds like a contrast between folk music, as well as an instrumental type of music from a different country. I also prefer the track “Agir Halay (Saza Niye Gelmedin)” because it’s slow and also a good listening tool for when you’re studying.
The album was nicely done. The instrumental tracks are slow and soothing to me. I rated this the album a 4.5/5 because I would have liked to have heard a singer, possibly female, to make the album more romantic and relatable to a different audience base.
This is a video of Stevig playing “Dinner at the Meades.”