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Albert Mangelsdorff

It is hard to believe this concert lay all but forgotten in the archives for almost 50 years – particularly as it marks the breakthrough of Albert Mangelsdorff as Germany’s one true international jazz star.

At the insistence of Joachim-Ernst Berendt, head of SWF’s jazz department, the Goethe Institut dispatched Mangelsdorff and his quintet on a tour of Asia in 1964. Nobody had reckoned on concert sell-outs, a frenzied media circus and prestigious honours. Back home and swinging from their encounters with Asian folk and dance music, the Quintet guested in Freiburg with a performance of pure avant-garde: a tense, frantic bop, shifting playfully between musical styles from Mali (“Burungkaka”), Thailand (“Ramwong”) and Japan (“Sakura Waltz”) and ultimately reaching the point of entry to free jazz.

For five soloists at the top of their game the formula was a simple one: Heinz Sauer’s tenor is Trane-like in quality (“Pater Panchali”); Günter Kronberg’s alto (“Set 'em Up”) develops rugged, edgy figures in the style of a young Wayne Shorter; Günter Lenz on bass and Ralf Hübner on drums combine to form a heart-lung machine that provides oxygen for the horns and oceans of space for improvisation. This material later gave rise to Now Jazz Ramwong, the Quintet’s best known recording. It would launch the ensemble to the top of the “downbeat” polls (“Talent Deserving Wider Recognition”). It also assured Albert Mangelsdorff a place in the pantheon of jazz greats.

Catalogue No.: 101706

1Now Jazz Ramwong
2 Set 'em Up
4Sakura Waltz
6Thema from Pather Panchali
7Far Out Far East
9Es sungen drei Engel

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