Rain Sultanov Influence Review
Rain Sultanov Influence Review
Rain Sultanov is an Azerbaijan jazz saxophonist who has made a huge contribution to the development of jazz culture in the Republic of Azerbaijan. After graduating from a music school as a distance student, specializing in clarinet and surprising his teachers with hard work and natural talent, Sultanov demonstrated his extraordinary ability for the first time. In 1985, Sultanov was awarded the Republican clarinetists contest. His ability to focus on jazz while walking a turbulent and interesting creative path has made his music rich and full of musical depth. His unique style of performance is filled will a series of new ideas, albums and projects. Sultanov has been a participant in a large number of concerts and jazz festivals held worldwide. Sultanov is a jazz musician and leading exponent of different forms of music, with his own style and a plethora of ideas and projects, drawn inexorably to the mysterious world of the future.
About the Album
The music and theme for Influence has been on Sultanov’s mind for years. On his long journey, his inspirations, role models and teachers have changed repeatedly, but he never lost his heartfelt gratitude towards those whose music once touched him. First, there were the records by Michael Brecker. Then, there were gigs with English trumpet player Kenny Wheeler, which left an indelible impression. Last but not least, there were the encounters with the great Joe Zawinul at the Baku Jazz Festival, which left Zawinul impressed and Sultanov inspired. All of these different inspirations blend into a spiritual work which reflects both on Sultanov’s influences, himself and something beyond: “I am realistic enough to understand that all of these artists are no longer with us,” he says, with a pensive smile, “On the other hand, they will always be there for me, maybe just in another dimension. That’s something I truly believe in.” Sultanov is joined by Swedish bassist Nils Ölmedal and pianist Isfar Sarabski. Both, as Sultanov puts it, “know what to listen for in my music and what kind of mood I am looking for.”
Our Favorite Tracks
“My John C,” is a pensive and emotive listen, as Sultanov’s depth of beauty in his playing is expressive, filled with breathy beauty and elongated wistfulness filters a sense of beauty, pianist Isfar Sarabski colorizes with tenderness while bassist Nils Ölmedal creates a forward motion of outlining the rhythm of the flow.
Each of the tunes on Influence offer a moodiness of refinement and grace. “I’ll Never Forget You Mike,” in particular is a deeply touching piece. Sultanov’s warmth caresses each note as once again Sarabski and Ölmedal offer a supportive enrichment to Sultanov’s compositions. On this piece in particular Sarabski exudes a cogitative beauty that breaths into and out of Ölmedal’s solo.
Moving from one touching piece to the next, Sultanov exhibits a maturity of opulence. An album meant to be savored with attention, there is so much to absorb, sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy in a lucubratory fashion.
Rain Sultanov, Isfar Sarabski & Nils Ölmedal
April 24, 2020