Adderley achieved immortality in the Miles Davis Quintet with Kind of Blue – and his Something Else is possibly the best of the Blue Note albums. That was the late 1950s. Ten years later Adderley was touring Europe with his own quintet and gave a performance at Stuttgart’s Liederhalle.
Art Blakey was a rhythmic volcano. “There were times when Art played with such fire he almost drummed you off the stage,” recalled his long-time companion Freddie Hubbard.
Mulligan presents his handpicked sextet at the Liederhalle, where the opening number "For An Unfinished Woman" shows that far from being tinged with nostalgia his approach is still a contemporary work in progress.
The tumultuous applause was merely a foretaste of the liberating effect that rock’n’roll was about to unleash – a new genre which before long would steal the limelight from those in the jazz world who had made it possible.
The Mooche was written by Duke Ellington in 1928 for the trumpeter Bubber Miley. In his long version, performed in Stuttgart, Dizzy Gillespie explores it at length. Lalo Schifrin’s piano solo uses block chords to further heighten the dramatic intensity of this soul remake.
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.
In 1958 Sims played with Benny Goodman at Expo ‘58 in Brussels, where he met the Viennese-born Hans Koller, then Europe’s coolest tenor sax. Two years earlier Sims had made a Blue Note recording with the German pianist Jutta Hipp and he was keen to meet other European jazz musicians.
Ellington considered two topics to be off-limits: illness and death. It was for this reason he refused to make a will to the last, fearful of tempting fate and provoking his own demise.
The great Leonard Feather wrote Dear Jutta and promised her a great career in the USA. So in late 1955 she left for New York. Alfred Lion signed her to Blue Note; three recordings in just eight months; an object of awe in the clubs – the Frauleinwunder.
Oscar Pettiford first arrived in Germany in 1958 and could scarcely believe the enthusiasm with which his music was received. Not that he had ever been short of success – even before Charlie Parker’s breakthrough he had been a bebop pioneer in his quintet with Dizzy Gillespie. This was the dawn of a new jazz era – one that heralded the bass as a solo instrument.
1954. Germany, a nation under Allied occupation and still bearing the scars of its Nazi past, tunes its radios to witness the “Miracle of Bern” and world cup victory just nine years after being at war. At the same time in Baden-Baden a perfectionist bandleader with horn-rimmed spectacles and a baton was recording Tuxedo Junction and You Go To My Head.