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.
“I became a professional musician in autumn 1968.” It would be easy enough to overlook the import of Volker Kriegel’s remark, such is its succinct nature. But as Kriegel’s widow Evelyn recalls, the decision of the 25-year-old guitarist to switch from amateur to professional status was a pragmatic one
Modern Jazz Quartet
Who would have thought this quartet would confound revolutions in fashion and survive for 40 years? And how many are aware that its popular breakthrough came in Europe in 1957? The conquest of the general public by these four gentlemen was more an act of seduction.
In April 1957 Tony Scott made a stopover in the Swabian capital on his European tour. That same year also saw performances by the Modern Jazz Quartet and Miles Davis. The guest artists were accompanied by the rhythm section from SDR’s own in-house dance orchestra; the solo celebrities, Tony Scott included, were generally also invited to the studios for a recording session. For this very occasion the clarinettist prepared a selection of standards.
Hans Koller & Friends
At a time when jazz in Germany was still something of a protected species, Viennese-born Hans Koller arrived on the scene with all the electrical energy of a thunderstorm. He had wanted nothing more than to own and play a saxophone since childhood, and when his parents eventually capitulated, the young Hans was left to embark on the life of a musician.
The gentle poet of the trumpet – that was his image. So it came as something of a surprise for European audiences to hear the Chet Baker they discovered at his live concerts: a trumpeter with a decisive attacca style and lively boppy lines, accompanied by a pianist who combined innovative harmonies with bizarre rhythms and a drummer who propelled the band with a hard, driving beat.