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Kurt Edelhagen

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. Kurt Edelhagen, dubbed “Prussian” for his legendary rehearsal discipline and severity with players, harbored a single-minded desire to match the great Stan Kenton. Südwestfunk had already been broadcasting jazz for six years by the time Joachim-Ernst Berendt, an editor with horn-rimmed spectacles and a mission, began organizing a concert series of his own in March 1954: “Jazztime Baden-Baden”. >

Then came the encounter between the Grande Dame of stride piano Mary Lou Williams, “Colonel” Edelhagen and his rhythm group. In November the orchestra headed to Switzerland to perform the “Miracle of Basel”: with the big band and Allstars unfettered, the orchestra at last achieved that Kenton feel. Discipline and free thought combined, a rhythm section in full swing mode. Tuxedo Junction featured a Mulliganesque Helmut Reinhardt; clear and sweet, Franz von Klenck’s solo in You Go To My Head. Yes, indeed: Lester Leaps In. And Basel succumbed to a fräuleinwunder: only the previous year Edelhagen had turned Caterina Valente into a household name – and here she was now being showered with admiration like Pennies From Heaven.

One encore – a showpiece that ended up as a suite: Alpha Jazz by Roland Kovac. Roll on 1955! 

Catalogue No.: 101718

Tracklist 
1Tuxedo Junction (Baden-Baden)
2 3 X 2
3You Go To My Head (Baden-Baden)
4St.Louis Blues
5The Man I Love (Freiburg)
6Yesterdays
7Blues On The Bongo Beat
8Nancy And The Colonel
9You Go To My Head (Basel)
10Lester Leaps In
11Tuxedo Junction (Basel)
12The Man I Love (Basel)
13They Can't Take That Away From Me
14Pennies From Heaven
15On The Upbeat
16Easy To Love
17There's No You
18Alpha Jazz

 
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