Rain Sultanov

Rain Sultanov
City of Jazz


1. City of Jazz 7.23 (R. Sultanov)
2. Baki khatireleri 6.54 (R. Sultanov)
3. Leyla 7.10 (R. Sultanov)
4. Mart 6.29 (V. Mustafa-zadeh)
5. Azerbaijan 5.40 (R. Babayev)
6. Aglama 7.49 (R. Sultanov)
7. Reyhan 5.14 (F. Amirov)
8. Tale about caspian 7.36 (R. Sultanov)


RAIN SULTANOV: Soprano & tenor sax, ewi, bass clarinet, keyboard,sound & drum programming
RAUF SULTANOV: acoustic bass
TOFIG JABBAROV: percussions
DAVID KOYFMAN: acoustic bass
RUSLAN HUSEYNOV: bass guitar
RAMIN SULTANOV: drums, tabla

Recorded november/december 2002 in rainstudio Baku, Azerbaijan.

 Rain Sultanov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1965. Influenced by his mother and two elder brothers, he became a musician although as a child he was more eager to draw and attended drawing classes. When he was 14, his elder brothers decided that he should enter music school, where one of his first teachers was Chingiz Babayev.

He bought his first clarinet with his eldest brother's help. He often listened to famous jazz compositions performed by Miles Davis and Weather Report. Michael Brecker's unusual performances were to have a great influence on him later.

After leaving school, Rain was a clarinettist in the military orchestra for almost four years during his army service.
In 1985, when he was a student at the A. Zeynalli Music College, he won the Rain & Donny McCazlin Azerbaijan Music Contest. Rain became an accomplished performer of classical works by Weber, Tchaikovsky and Mozart and at the same time was a professional performer of well-known jazz compositions.Invited by the famous Azerbaijani composer and singer Polad Bulbuloglu to join the Ashuglar group, he started to write improvisations for his songs, while continuing to play jazz with friends and family. Influenced by Michael Brecker's compositions, Rain wrote several of his own works and performed them on tour. In 1988 he was invited by the outstanding Azerbaijani singer Rashid Behbudov to work at the State Song Theatre.

The same year Rain entered the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire. In 1989, after the death of the Rashid Behbudov, Rain started working with the Gaya State Jazz Orchestra. The number of singers in the group increased under Teymur Mirzoyev's guidance, and many new opportunities came up. Invited by clarinet leader Tofig Shabanov, Rain started working as a soloist in the orchestra the same year. He gained a following as a mature improviser.In 1992 Rain was invited to work with the Azerbaijan Teleradio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Faig Sujaddinov. This proved to be a critical time during which he prepared several solo jazz programmes for concerts. From 1992 to 1994 Rain performed solo jazz concerts at various jazz and concert halls in Turkey and Moscow. In 1995 Rain wrote his first compositions, Jokers' Dance and Day Off . He Adam Rodgers & Raintook part to critical acclaim in jazz festivals in Germany in 1996 and 1997.1996 was a very successful year for Rain: in Germany he wrote several new compositions, including Last Moment, Crazy World and others.

On returning to Azerbaijan, Rain decided to form the Syndicate jazz group with the participation of his eldest brother Rauf Sultanov (guitar), Eldar Rzakulizade (piano), Gamidulla Xafari (guitar) and Vagif Aliyev (drums). Syndicate performed their first solo concert, Last Moment, on 14th and 15th July 1997. Syndicate's performance of original compositions soon won it the admiration of jazz composers. At the same time, from 1997 to 1998, Rain was performing compositions by John Coltrane and Miles Davis in various jazz clubs in Germany and Baku. "Musicians such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis originated many new Rauf Sultanov , Eldar Rzakuli-zadeh , Evelin Blake , Kurtis Fuller , Vagif Aliyev & Raintrends in jazz and they left a brilliant legacy," Rain says.

In 1998 Syndicate were invited to the World Jazz Festival in Novosibirsk (Russia) where they played alongside internationally renowned jazzmen such as Curtis Fuller (trombone), Adam Rogers (guitar) and Danny Makazlin (clarinet). After the festival, Syndicate received an offer from the festival organizer to record an album. In 1999 Rain shared a stage famous saxophonist Tommy Smith in Baku. Publicly recognized as a professional jazz group, Syndicate recorded their first album, Last Moment, in January 1999. When it was completed, Rain decided to change his image as a composer and move to innovative work with the clarinet. He has now composed his new album, Mugam magam, which is based on Azerbaijani national music. It is an intriguing example of Rain's creativity and musical skill. City of Jazz followed in 2003... 
In 2008 Rain Sultanov completed his work, which lasted two years, on his album “Tale of my land”. Rain calls this project album – book, which contains 40 pages of pictures. Album consists of 2 CDs and lasts for 3 hours. The first CD is music, but the second is a 17-minute movie, directed by Azeri ad Turkish film directors. First part of the album includes an interview with Rain Sultanov; the second part contains jazzman’s music with the pictures in the background, included in the disc. Children, old people, especially the refuges are exposed in pictures. The third part is a mini video clip, with a main leitmotif of war and the horrors it brings.

Tale Of My Land ... 
Today, only a select few musicians carry the name of Azerbaijani jazz to other countries. Rain Sultanov is one leading saxophone player doing just that. Similarly, not many have gone through such an eventfully rich, and sometimes stormy, period of development. He is certainly a musician’s musician - appreciated by those finely tuned to the highest art.

Rain’s music is thoughtful and suffused with significance.

Rain Sultanov – authoritative 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.

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