May 23, 2024

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Interview with Rain Sultanov: The beautiful music soothes the soul and even treats it: Videos, Photos

Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist Rain Sultanov. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Rain Sultanov: – I grew up in Baku. This is the 60th years, when Azerbaijan was still part of the Soviet Union. City was very multicultural. Music was a priority in almost all families. So, I grew up among musicians. My two brothers are musicians and mother were very fond of music.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the your musical instrument? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the your musical instrument?

RS: – In the selection of the instrument and in the next study, my older brother Rauf helped me. At that time he was a very famous bass player. Then it was fashionable to have a Vinyl player and records at home, and also a tape recorder. My brothers brought home different and interesting records almost every day. I received a classical education in the class of clarinet. I still inspire Mozart’s music and I consider him a great composer of all generations. But already at the age of 17’s I purchased my first saxophone soprano and began to listen and disassemble Michael Brecker, Weather Report and others. Year after I bought tenor saxophone.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

RS: – Frankly, I did not immediately come to the conclusion that sound is the most important thing in music. Yes, I worked with a teacher on the sound of clarinet, when I was still at music school, but it was completely different. All the previous years, from 17 to 30 years, I worked on the technique and phrasing.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

RS: – I did not have any special exercises for jazz. All I had was the recordings of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett and others.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?

RS: – It has been many years since I seriously studied classical music and harmony at the Music Academy. It seems to me, that having gone through many genres of music like Jazz Rock, Fusion, Mugham, Bebop, Modal Jazz, Acid, etc. Many experimental. But I returned to the classical music again.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2018: <Rain Sultanov & Isfar Sarabski – Cycle>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

RS: – This is exactly, what you asked me before. Sound. In recent years, I have been working not only on the sound of my instrument, but also on the sound of the entire composition and the whole project. Sound is a wave, that present a person’s mood. The sound must be beautiful, sublime. In project ‘Cycle’ I like the combination of organ with the soprano saxophone and of course the piano.

JBN.S: – Which are the best jazz albums for you of 2017 year?

RS: – Frankly, I do not track the album’s output year after year, I just listen to them sometimes in the YouTube without even knowing, what years they were going out 🙂

JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

RS: – Very interesting question, the first time I am asked this question. Is absolute balance, if a person is able to reach a high level of intellect, then beautiful music soothes the soul and even treats it.

JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

RS: – I recently returned from the tour with the release of the new album. I’m still impressed with the concerts, the audience and the sound of the ‘Cycle’. We performed in various Churches of Germany, France and Norway. In Oslo, I took the opportunity to record a new Trio album with Nils Olmedal on double bass, and Isfar Sarabski on piano.

JBN.S: – Which collaboration have been the most important experiences for you?

RS: – The most important experience for me was working in the 90’s at the ‘Gaya’ Jazz Orchestra, and then collaborating with Kenny Wheeler in 2005. I kept even recording one live show with him 🙂

JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

RS: – You are right, today it is very difficult to compel to listen to the standards of the 50’s, 60’s, and do not need it. I think, that young people should be attracted by modern jazz and of course with colorful rhythms.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

RS: – Yes, it’s true. He was born for music. Music was his life’s meaning. Today in the modern world everything is different. We try to keep pace with the times. We spend ourselves on many different, side things. We lose our spirit and meaning. But I was very fortunate, that I was born in the 60’s and had time to experience what music and the meaning of life are.

JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

RS: – I would not change anything in music. Music is beautiful, such as it is in its development. I would change only one thing in people ‘To do only good things and don’t destroy the world’

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

RS: – Sometimes I listen to Keith Jarrett, and sometimes to Mozart. Sometimes in the car on the radio you have to listen to all kinds of nonsense.

JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

RS: – In the 80’s, because my musical career began in 1985. But if I had a second chance, I would probably have gone to the future. I’m very concerned about the topic of ecology.

JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself …

RS: – Are you probably a musician or were? My question to you. What interested you in the album ‘Cycle’? Sound, harmony of combinations, or state of mind after listening to it?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. I’m not a musician, I’m a jazz critic and journalist, a jazz and blues collector. We have all new CDs that published or will be published. And this has been for many years, since the beginning of 2003, when I started seriously studying jazz and blues.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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