(From the Gloucestershire Echo, 19 October 2000.)

Album Helps Jaz Open New Doors

Composer takes classical world by storm

Cheltenham composer Jaz Coleman has teamed up with violin virtuoso Nigel Kennedy to put new twist on The Doors' music.

Mr. Coleman, whose family lives in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, has continued his rise up the classic ranks with his latest project Riders on the Storm, The Doors Concerto.

The 40-year-old, who was a punk rocker in the 70s, wrote and arranged the score around nine of the American band's hits. He will embark on a world tour with Mr. Kennedy next year.

Surviving members of the cult group are so impressed by the finished work they will join the pair on stage for the final leg of the tour.

As a result of the project the Prague Symphony Orchestra, which performs the score on the CD, invited Mr Coleman to be its resident composer.

Mr. Coleman said: "I've always liked The Doors' music. I thought the music lent itself to a violin concerto. I started the score and thought Nigel Kennedy had to be the person to do it.

"There have been so many great moments in this project n it's blown me away. It's a very exciting time."

Mr. Coleman, who turned his attention to classical music in Iceland in 1982, has recorded scores for Moulin, with Vanessa Mae, and projects with rock groups Metallica and Nine Inch Nails.

Now, having conquered the breadth of the musical world, the talented musician has one remaining ambition n to perform in his home town.

Mr. Coleman said: "I left school with no O levels or A levels and went and formed Killing Joke in London.

"I was lucky enough to meet Brian Jones as a child and I've always lived under the spirit of Holst throughout my classical career. I feel I'm part on an unusual tradition of music that stems from Cheltenham.

"I want to conduct one of the world's biggest orchestras at the Cheltenham Festival. The town used to be off my touring schedule but now I can't get enough of it."

Mr. Coleman left town aged 17 and launched into the punk rock scene with Killing Joke.

He funded his classical training with the success of Killing Joke and travelled to East Europe and the Middle East to broaden his skills.

With wife Brenda he settled in New Zealand and became the composer in residence with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

The CD is available from leading record shops from October 30 for GBP 15.99.