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Tanburi Cemil Bey is remembered as one of the most important composers of instrumental art music from the late period of the Otoman Empire in Turkey. Bey's recordings between 1910 and 1914, prior to the invention of the electric microphone, set the precedent for the saz semai suite form that continues to dominate traditional Turkish music. According to The New York Daily News, Bey "bends fashion, Turkish blues if you like". The Beat praised Bey for his "left hand technique of comparable strength and agility to that of Jimi Hendrix."
Bey's classic recordings, with accompaniment by Kemence on tanbur and ud and Hafuz Yasar on violoncello, have been reissued by Traditional Crossroads as a collection of three albums.