Eltham College’s Jazz Night, on Saturday 27th January, will be the official launch event for the Music Department’s new album, A Night in Tunisia, the Department’s first ever studio jazz album. The album, with 8 tracks from Big Band, Jazz Combo and Sax Quartet, is now available on all major streaming platforms, and will be the first of a number of new releases over the coming years.
Recorded over a day of sessions in July 2023, the editing, mixing, mastering and post-production happened over the following months, and the final product was ready to release in November. The Music Department chose, however, to wait until January’s Jazz Night to launch it officially, as the event offers the natural environment in which to celebrate its release, and also offers a chance for a number of OEs who played on the album to come back to Eltham and be part of the event.
The ensembles were directed by Michael Coates, who has directed Eltham’s advanced jazz ensembles for a number of years. He was well aware that the 22-23 iteration of these ensembles was incredibly strong, and was delighted to be able to put down a lasting record of these groups. Amongst the players on the album is Zach Sholapurkar OE, who is now in his first year studying Jazz Saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music, and who can be heard solo’ing on Alto Saxophone on a number of tracks, including the title track A Night in Tunisia; we look forward to seeing his jazz career flourish over the coming years. James Warren OE, now studying at the University of Guildford but having already built up a professional career as a session drummer, is also a key player on the album, and is particularly notable on the track Cute.
Eltham’s Director of Music, Sebastian Johns, produced and edited the album, and could not be happier with the result. “The most remarkable thing about this album,” he writes, “is that you genuinely have to remind yourself that the performers are of school age. The standard of playing is incredibly impressive, and some of the solos are truly remarkable in their complexity and sophistication. My only slight concern is that people might think that we cheated and hired a bunch of pros, but the pupils really were that good!”.
The album, distributed by Selber Records, is available on Spotify and Apple Music, and you can listen using the links below:
The album, distributed by Selber Records, is available on Spotify and Apple Music, and you can listen using the links below.