This album is all about fun! The mixed and varied songs and tunes are an eclectic mix of small group be-bop jazz, vocal standards, blues, orchestral jazz arrangements and oriental Arabic jazz fusion. The album was produced by Doha Jazz director and trumpeter / flugel hornist, Chris Coull, together with the drummer on the album and co-producer, Michael Pigneguy. Both have a rich and varied history of jazz and CD recording and this album has resulted in one hour's worth of jazz music that will put Qatar firmly on the map as a place where top rated jazz music is played and recorded. Furthermore all the profits of the album sales will go to the charity Cancer Research UK. Great music and a good cause - what better reason to buy this album!
A message from Chris Coull – Director at Doha Jazz. www.DohaJazz.com
When my wife and I moved to Qatar over 10 years ago, we had little thought to what the future might bring. Qatar was a very different place then and to produce a CD like this one would have been if not unthinkable then nigh on impossible. The fact that we now have so many great jazz players here is a testament to Qatar and its drive for the future. This whole project would not be possible without the dedication time and commitment of the twenty or so musicians and technicians involved in the making of this CD and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all. In particular, special thanks go to Mike Pigneguy who has been with me every step of the way in the production and musical direction. I would also like to thank Commercial Bank Qatar for their generosity in funding the making of this CD, ensuring that 100% of the sales proceeds are able to go to the charity CRUK.
When we found out nearly a year ago that my wife Claire had breast cancer it was a huge shock. At the time of writing, Claire is nearing the end of her chemotherapy and we are all hopeful for the future and eternally grateful for the treatment we have received in Qatar and the support of all our friends and family.
Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Their ground breaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has seen survival rates double in the last 40 years. Yet more than one in three of us will still get cancer at some point in our lives. Research from CRUK is entirely funded by the public and is critical to ensuring more people beat it.
Thanks for buying the CD – 100% of all sales goes directly to CRUK. I hope to see at one of our gigs – come and support live music in Doha!
LINER NOTES BY MIKE HALL - Saxophonist and educator Mike Hall heads Jazz Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, UK
I first encountered Chris on a jazz summer school in Manchester back in the 1980s. It was clear that his playing style was well formed and his musical career would continue to bloom but who could have predicted where in the world it would take him?
Chris is a very serious and talented player in whom we can hear influences as wide apart as Chet Baker and Freddie Hubbard, with perhaps even a hint of Kenny Wheeler. His playing is tight, clean and accurate, making this CD very comfortable listening. He has a very melodic approach and a deep appreciation of the language of bebop and jazz.
Indeed, Chris’ delightful approach to bebop is the cornerstone of this album, although our interest is maintained with a few twists and interesting choices. Bob Haggart’s tune What’s New is usually heard as a ballad but here makes a fine mid tempo vehicle. Everything I Love is probably my favourite Cole Porter song while I cannot remember when I last heard the old warhorse Star Eyes on a modern recording; a really interesting tune and sequence for improvisation.
This CD does not belong to Chris alone. There are welcome appearances from three different vocalists plus a showcase for the original string quartet writing of Mike Pigneguy in Visions of Vienna. Mike is the drummer (clearly banishing any notion of this group being several musicians and a drummer) and his piece is beautifully crafted and structured. The opening ostinato teasingly gives the impression of being more rhythmically complicated than it actually is and Chris’ flügelhorn makes a welcome entry later in the piece.
The jewel in the crown has to be Chris’ own interpretation of the theme from the slow movement of the New World Symphony, known to many as Going Home. I have known this Dvořák gem well for decades but never saw the potential to transform it into a beautiful jazz vehicle further enhanced by some lush string writing.
I am further grateful for the very exotic twist given to Little Sunflower. The imaginative addition of oud, tabla and some harmonic-minor ‘Maqam’ alterations to Freddie Hubbard's original line, along with the opening calls of the market traders on Blues on the Corniche remind us that Chris’ career has taken him to live in the Middle East via Kenya.
Saxophonist and educator Mike Hall heads Jazz Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, UK and directs the RNCM Big Band and Jazz Collective.
THE MAKING OF THIS ALBUM WAS SPONSORED BY COMMERCIAL BANK OF QATAR
Commercialbank was established in 1975 as Qatar’s first private bank. Since then, the Bank has grown with Qatar, whether through our support for the community or our involvement in development of the very infrastructure of the country, reflecting the nation’s values and drive to continually improve and innovate. Since inception we have made excellence our benchmark, delivering products and services which not only meet your needs, but exceed them.
Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of Commercialbank’s corporate culture and fundamental business principles. Commercialbank is inspired by Qatar, and plays an important role in contributing to Qatar’s success by strengthening relationships with our communities and fostering social stability and prosperity.
Commercialbank has made significant financial and non-financial contributions to a broad range of charitable organisations and community initiatives. By supporting charitable causes, educational programmes, sporting events, environmental projects and cultural events, Commercialbank seeks to improve and enrich the quality of life of those living in the community in which we operate.
Through a well defined CSR framework and a determined commitment to pursue activities that parallel our business aspirations, Commercialbank has progressed into a highly credible organisation; an organisation which seeks the wisdom and courage to look at our CSR responsibilities as more than a framework, more than a guide, but as a set of principles for life, that generate value for our shareholders, customers, staff and society as a whole.
Inspired by the leadership of H.H. the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar continues to grow and thrive, and Commercialbank is proud to be a fundamental part of that growth by continuing to strengthen our traditional relationships with Qatar’s communities, in addition to financing the very infrastructure of the country and providing banking services of established value.