OFFICIAL RAIN SULTANOV WEBSITE - 2015 © JAZZ DUNYASI - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 
DEVELOPPED BY EFENDI STUDIO
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Google+ Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon

NEWS

SKJAZZ MAGAZINE

CD Review: Cycle

www.skjazz.sk

ALL ABOUT JAZZ 

Rain Sultanov: Putting Baku On The Jazz Map

by Ian Patterson

November 20, 2018

"The fact is because Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union for many years it wasn’t easy for us, after the 1990s, to declare ourselves as a country, to talk about our jazz history. This is the goal. —Rain Sultanov, saxophonist/Artistic Director, Baku Jazz Festival."

www.allaboutjazz.com

ALL ABOUT JAZZ 

Rain Sultanov & Isfar Sarabski Cycle

CD Review

by Ian Patterson

June 17, 2018

www.allaboutjazz.com

KREISZEITUNG.DE

Jazz Konzert der anderen Art

Saxofonist Rain Sultanov und Pianist Isfar Sarabaski im Dom

23.04.18

Henning Leeske

Journalist

www.kreiszeitung.de

RADIO BERLIN BRANDENBURG (RBB)

'Inspired by Nature' one of the best Jazz-CDs des Jahres 2017

Late Night Jazz - "My Favorite Tunes" 6. JANUAR 2018, 23.04 – 24.00 UHR

Ulf Drechsel

Jazz-Journalist

www.kulturradio.de

LIRA MUSIC MAGAZINE 

top albums of the 2017 year

Dela den här recensionen:

 

 

På sin nionde platta tolkar saxofonisten Rain Sultanov sitt hemland i jazziga toner. På tidigare plattor har han utforskat bland annat landskapet Karabakh i sydvästra Azerbadjan. Denna gång har han låtit sig inspireras av hemlandets sju klimatzoner. Han och bandet har rest till höglandet i Kaukasus, vandrat på stäpper och i djupa skogar, närmat sig träskmarksterräng, lyssnat på Gobustans porlande lervulkaner, vandrat vid kusten och vid bergsökenområden. Sammanlagt en sträcka på två tusen kilometer för att samla ljud och intryck för ett helt album.
Resultatet är öronbedövade vackert! Låtar som The white birds of Qizilagac, On the trail of Shirvan’s gazelles, Up Lahij mountains … Och, åh, The breath of a Caspian volcano, vilken låt alltså. Så vackert, vilken stämning musikerna har lyckats trolla fram.
I bandet finns för resten svensk förstärkning av Linnea Olsson (cello) och Peter Nilsson på trummor. Mycket fin platta där naturens mystik har omvandlats till hisnande vackra melodier som tidvis är nästan andäktigt meditativa.

www.lira.se

DOWNBEAT JAZZ MAGAZINE

An uncanny mix of folk with original music permeates Rain Sultanov's Inspired By Nature (Ozella 68; 57:01) Sultanov's sometimes haunting, sometimes fiery soprano and tenor playing can recall Jan Garbarek. Garbarek"s shadow looms but is otherwise forgotten as Sultanov, an Azerbaijan native, walks his mates through a tribute to his home country's landscapes.

by John Ephland

www.downbeat.com

VINYL - FAN.DE 

Wenn über die Musik im Kopf des Zuhörers Bilder entstehen, die der Interpret selbst vor Augen hat, ist eine der wunderbarsten Augenblicke entstanden, die ein Komponist je hervorrufen kann. Rain Sultanov ist dieses mit der Schallplatte „Inspired By Nature" gelungen - mehr noch: durch die exzellente Klangqualität ist die Transformation auch bis ins Detail lebendig geworden.

www.vinyl-fan.de

ALL ABOUT JAZZ - CD Review by Ian Patterson

July 14 2017

Azerbaijani saxophonist/composer Rain Sultanov has long drawn inspiration from his country's rich culture and stunning landscapes. On Inspired by Nature—Sultanov's eighth release as leader—the saxophonist toggles between lyrical balladry and passionate exposition as he takes Azerbaijan's nature as his muse. And it has been an epic venture. With a band of trusted musicians, Sultanov led an expedition around Azerbaijan, recording the natural sounds they encountered in the great mountains, by the Caspian Sea and on the flat plains. These recordings and impressions were then transported to Jan Erik Kongshaug's Rainbow Studio in Oslo and musically shaped by Sultanov under the guidance of the legendary sound engineer. The result is music that is never less than engaging, and that at its best, exhibits haunting beauty. 

The bar is set high from the get go with "The White Birds of Qizilagac," an achingly lyrical composition of chamber jazz delicacy. Sultanov's soprano saxophone and cellist Linnea Olsson—who doubles on wordless vocals—carve the beguiling melody over a gentle pulse courtesy of Yashuito Mori's spare, richly sonorous double bass, Peter Nilsson's brushes and Irakli Koiava's gentle metallic percussion. These elements are the currents buoying pianist Shahin Novrasli's gliding, soaring flights in this quietly stunning opener. 

Drama courses through the up-tempo "Up Lahij Mountains," with Novrasli and Sultanov unleashing energized yet contrasting solos over Nilsson and Mori's viscous rhythms—the pianist's lines smooth-flowing, the saxophonist all staccato bursts. For Sultanov, however, the composition is the thing, and nowhere is this better illustrated than on the minor epic "On The Trail of Shirvan's Gazelles," a slow-burning, Wayne Shorter-esque meditation that employs space to powerful effect. Novrasli's elegant solo—the left hand all but dormant—may be the centre-piece, but it's the simple beauty of saxophone and cello entwined in melody that remains foremost in the mind. 

Sultanov juggles his ensemble to suit the mood: piano quartet carries "On the Absheron Hook," a nostalgic chamber piece uplifted by Mori's earthy bass improvisation; the trio of Yasef Eyvazov on oud, Sultanov on soprano saxophone and Koiava's deft percussion combine on the atmospheric intro to "Wild Wind of Zuvend," which then erupts into emotively charged modal terrain, with Sultanov and Novrasli sparring over a rumbling, broiling rhythmic stew. 

Sultanov switches to tenor saxophone on the slower "Hirkan's Colors," where, shadowed on the defining melody by Ollson's cello, the saxophonist's subsequent yearning solo inspires an emotive response from the more expansive Novrasli. Oud, tenor and piano pass the baton in a series of plaintive, blues-infused solos on "The Breath of An Caspian Volcano," with Koiava's sotto voce udu providing the sole accompaniment. 

An over-arching emotive vein permeates the music, whose suite-like qualities are perhaps best appreciated in uninterrupted flow. There's stark beauty in Sultanov's open love letter to his country -an intimate narrative that fires the imagination, and ultimately, seduces the heart.

www.allaboutjazz.com

CD - Review by Ingo J.Biermann

Der Untertitel »Seven Sounds of Azerbaijan« zeugt bereits davon, dass es sich hierbei nicht direkt um »nordische Musik« handelt. Der Saxofonist Rain Sultanov hätte sein Album allerdings auch »Sieben Landschaften (in Aserbaidschan)« nennen können, denn die sieben Stücke (plus drei Intros) sind nicht nur nach diversen Naturorten in Sultanovs Heimatland betitelt, sondern auch von ihnen inspiriert. Nicht zum ersten Mal widmet sich der 1965 in Aserbaidschans Hauptstadt Baku geborene und in seinem Heimatland sehr bekannte Jazzmusiker solchen Themen und Geschichten. Lange schon hatte er im Sinn, die Faszination der Landschaften Aserbaidschans in Musik zu übersetzen. Aufgenommen hat er die einstündige Jazz-Reise aber in Oslos Rainbow Studios, unterstützt von einem internationalen Septett, dem mit dem Schlagzeuger Peter Nilsson und der Cellistin Linnea Olsson auch zwei Schweden angehören. 

Seine einstündige Reise beginnt mit den »weißen Vögeln von Qizilagac«, einem poetischen Jazzstück, das zwar Einflüsse der Kaukasusregion aufweist, darüber hinaus aber gar nicht so fremd klingt, wie man vermuten würde. Allenfalls Linnea Olssons Cello und Gesang hinterlassen einen leicht nahöstlichen Touch, während das Sopransaxofon an Vogelstimmen erinnert. Sultanov hatte sich, zusammen mit der deutschen Filmemacherin Antje Dombrowski und ein paar Musikern, in die verschiedenen Gegenden begeben, dort die Musik entwickelt, sei es »Up Lahij Mountains« oder auf dem »Caspian Volcano« - und sie dann in Oslo zu Ende geführt.

Die Band spielt weniger als siebenköpfiges Ensemble als in wechselnder Besetzung. Der rasante musikalische Ausflug in die Berge um die traditionsreiche Siedlung Lahıc (engl. Lahij) wird von energiegeladenem Bass und Schlagwerk vorangetrieben, während (nicht nur) »On The Trail Of Shirvan's Gazelles« von Shahin Novraslis sanften lyrischen Klaviermelodien getragen wird, wie sie auch im nordischen Jazz häufig anzutreffen sind. Nur selten sind Oud und Udu zu hören - und sorgen für einen Einschlag (aus unserer Sicht) ferner Kulturen. Alles in allem ist Rain Sultanov ein mit einfachen Mitteln zauberhaft vielfältiges Album mit einem warmen Einschlag von Folk-Musik gelungen, dessen multikultureller Ansatz an so manches Werk von

Jan Garbarek erinnert. (ijb)

www.nordische-music.de

Inspired by Nature Seven Sounds of Azerbaijan

 

Release Date February 17 2017 OZELLA MUSIC

A musical travel guide to Azerbaijan

Since the soviet days, Azerbaijan has had a rich jazz scene. To make sure it’s not becoming another obscure insider tip the remote country at the Caspian Sea needs to make some waves internationally from time to time. Under these circumstances a luminary like Rain Sultanov is a real blessing.

The saxophone player is the most popular jazz musician in Azerbaijan. An official „honoured artist“ of the country, Sultanov often comes back to themes from Azerbaijan in his music, drawing attention to the history and culture of his home land. His project „Voice of Karabakh“ describes the struggles of Mountainous Garabagh, the contested region on the border to Armenia and „Tale Of My Land“ delves into the stories and histories of Azerbaijan.

 

Whilst working on these projects, Sultanov developed the idea of also turning the breath- taking, extreme landscapes of the country into music and show their beauty to his audience. With the help of German filmmaker Antje Dombrowski and diplomat Thomas Melzer, the idea became reality. They gathered musicians and set off to a trip around Azerbaijan to collect sounds and inspiration for the album. They found bubbling gush springs, jammed with blacksmiths, blew against the storm, manhandled a grand piano into the steppe and scared off water birds with unheard sounds. All the impressions, sketches and recordings from this trip they took to Oslo’s reclaimed Rainbow Studios.

Here Sultanov’s dream finally turned into an album, every bit as breath-taking, extreme and beautiful as the landscapes of Azerbaijan: „Inspired by Nature - Seven Sounds of Azerbaidjan“. Even though Oslo is far away from Azerbaijan, Rain Sultanov managed to bring back these unique places and turn their atmosphere into music. The sounds and moods the musicians found on their „sound excursion“ where translated into parts for instruments and where contrasted with typical melodies of the region. This experimental mixture of folk and sounds Rain Sultanov and his musicians then integrated in imaginative yet elegant jazz arrangements.

The result are pictures made of sound - dreamy, inspiring and surprising – put together from saxophone, percussion, piano, bass, drums, cello and vocals. „Inspired by Nature“ sends the listener on an inner journey to Rain Sultanov’s Azerbaijan and proves that we sometimes see more, when we take the time to listen. 

12th International Film Festival of Eberswalde

 

October 10. 2015

 

Premiere of the documentary film

'Inspired by Nature. Seven Sounds of Azerbaijan'

in Germany

 

 

Maybe it was no coincidence, that the documentary „Inspired by Nature. Seven Sounds of Azerbaijan” premiered in Eberswalde, a city near Berlin, that is famous for it’s annual Jazz Festival as well as for it’s University for Sustainable Development. But the occasion last October was the 12th International Film Festival of Eberswalde, that invited the one-hour film by Antje Dombrowsky and Thomas Melzer for it’s very first presentation on the final day of the festival. The audience in the Paul Wunderlich Center, a complex for administration and culture under the same roof, named after the famous German painter Paul Wunderlich who was born in Eberswalde, was a colorful mix of about 150 film fans, music freaks and nature enthusiasts. They gave a very warm welcome to Rain Sultanov, the composer and Saxophon player from Baku, who travelled to the festival exclusively. Rain Sultanov is the main protagonist of the documentary, that was made in autumn 2013 in seven different landscapes of Azerbaijan. From Lahij in the High Mountains to the last hook of Absheron peninsula he went in for a journey through the versatile inspiration of his home country. Together with several musicians from Azerbaijan and Georgia he worked out sketches for a new album that was produced one month later at the famous Rainbow studio in Oslo, partly with other musicians from Sweden and Japan and supervised by Jan Erik Kongshaug. When they recorded the music they remembered the cold of the Caucasian mountains, the stormy winds of the Zuvand scrublands, the beauty of the Hirkan forests, the gazelles on the steppe in Shirvan National Park, the sound of the mud volcanoes and the wet shoes they got in the wetlands of Qizilagac. It was the nature that provided them by plenty of new ideas for their music. The process of finding the themes and rhythms for these seven pieces, the growth of the music and the preservation of the scenic attractions in the sound is what can be observed in the movie.

 

After the presentation of the film there was a panel discussion about it with Rain Sultanov, Antje Dombrowsky and Thomas Melzer. Many visitors were interested to get more information about the music history and the Jazz scene of Azerbaijan. And many of them wanted to learn more about the beautiful nature of the country between Caucasus and Caspian Sea. Obviously some of the Germans were inspired to travel to Azerbaijan for the first time. At the end all CD-recordings of the first live presentation of “Inspired by Nature” in the Porgy & Bess Jazz club in Vienna were sold out. The CD of the studio production and the DVD of the documentary film will be distributed in Azerbaijan by the Azerbaijan Ministry of the environment and the German Development Cooperation GIZ very soon.

 

 

Text: Thomas Melzer

 

 

Fotos:

Torsten Stapel (Foto on Festival stage)

Sven Wallrath (Fotos of the panel discussion)

CRANE.TV
Rain Sultanov: Jazz in Azerbaijan
 
The Azeri saxophonist talks about how classical, jazz and traditional Mugham influences have converged to inform his sound
International Jazz Day in Baku 30.04.2015
 
The International Jazz Day was celebrated on April 30 with concert and presentation of the Book
'The Jazz History of Azerbaijan' in Baku
READ MORE BY
www.jazzdunyasimagazine.com
 
BUY ON
www.zinio.com