Produced by noted Musicologist Dr. Sanubar Baghirova, as for the other titles of our series Traditional Music of Azerbaijan, Mugham Souls was born from the meeting of Azerbaijan Classical singer star Gochag Askarov and the French jazz singer Pierre de Trègomain. This very elegant pairing of vocalists musicians created and developed a musical style that received the name of jazz-mugham, as it pieced non-metrical melodic style of Mugham on jazz lexis.
Mugham Souls is the exceptional encounter of two vocalists PIERRE DE TRÉGOMAIN and GOCHAG ASKAROV, who represent two musical realms and two semi-improvised musical languages: jazz and Mugham. These two vocalists - one raised in the European jazz tradition and another in classical Mugham culture - managed to reconcile, and not merely juxtapose, these two different musical grammars. GOCHAG ASKAROV and PIERRE DE TRÉGOMAIN seem to understand each other perfectly as if they have been performing together for years. Meanwhile, the idea to perform together acquired its shape only one year ago. In 2016 Pierre de Trégomain discovered Gochag Askarov’s album Mugham: Traditional Music of Azerbaijan released by Felmay Records, and made up his mind to study Mugham vocal technique with him in Baku. This very elegant pairing of vocalists musicians created and developed a musical style that received the name of jazz-mugham, as it pieced non-metrical melodic style of Mugham on jazz lexis. This movement is still popular with a number of modern Azerbaijani jazzmen, such as jazz pianists Shahin Novrasli, Isfar Sarabsky, Emil Mammadov and piano. The Mugham singing requires particular vocal technique that explores the natural capability of the voice for fioritura, which in the national terminology is called zəngulə. Voices incapable for zəngulə are inappropriate for Mugham singing. The voice of Pierre, strong and expressive, and of a warm timbre, curiously has this quality, which is particularly amazing for an European singer. Everyday classes with Gochag, often lasting for a few hours a day, let Pierre master the Mugham vocal technique and a number of Mugham pieces in less than one month. They also resulted in the idea to make a musical program combining Mugham and jazz techniques of improvisation.
GOCHAG ASKAROV (1978) belongs to a new generation of Mugham musicians. He studied music and traditional vocals at the Baku Music College and at the National Conservatoire. His international carrier began in 2007 when he was invited to perform on the BBC and later at WOMAD festival in London. In 2009 he won the First Prize of the notable International World Music Festival in Samarqand/Uzbekistan and since then has been performing in most prestigious world music festivals in Europe and Asia.
French vocalist and composer PIERRE DE TRÉGOMAIN (1974) won in 2008 the first prize of French contest Crest Jazz Vocal and became a central figure in vocal jazz: well-known Belgian singer David Linx introduced him in the booklet of his first album « My Cold Song » (2010) as «a high flyer, European jazz à la française» and he was selected by Jazz Magazine among the «most essential male singers». He toured intensively in clubs and festivals in Europe and beyond with his Quartet and gained a solid reputation for his stage performances. His passion for improvisation and his quest for transcendent music led him to explore new musical horizons, baroque countertenor and Sufi inspired traditions, which enabled him to deepen his «inner connection» as he says – his ability to link music and emotion. Besides his Quartet, Pierre de Trégomain performs with various musicians, from electro to classical.
GOCHAG ASKAROV & PIERRE DE TREGOMAIN from Felmay Shop