Orchester Kurt Edelhagen (LP) | Arthaus 101742

Orchester Kurt Edelhagen (LP)

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Label: Arthaus

Cat No: 101742

Format: LP

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Jazz

Release Date: 5th January 2015



Mary Lou Williams
Orchester Kurt Edelhagen


Kurt Edelhagen


Mary Lou Williams
Orchester Kurt Edelhagen


Kurt Edelhagen


Germany, 1954 - a nation under Allied occupation and still bearing the scars of its Nazi past, tuned 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 sporting a baton and horn-rimmed spectacles was drilling his musicians.

Kurt Edelhagen arrived in Baden-Baden in 1952, after seven years on the road touring the British and American soldiers clubs. Now he was at Südwestfunk, rehearsing for international celebrity. His rehearsal discipline was dubbed 'Prussian' on account of his severity with musicians, his goal being to follow in the footsteps of his great idol Stan Kenton: hermetically tight, steely cold, but with a momentum and swing that went to the head.

the old standard You Go To My Head returned to the programme with the first seductive whiff of modern jazz from Miles and Dizzy, Bud Powell and Clifford Brown. Reason enough, then, for Edelhagen to record his own version, with the Konitz-cool Franz von Klenck on alto.

Like any bandleader of distinction, Edelhagen was open to influence from outside, inviting arrangers and stars to work with his orchestra in a quest for movement, timing, glamour. In April ’54, for example, Klaus Ogermann appeared as a guest on 'Jazztime Baden-Baden'. The orchestra then headed to Freiburg, and an encounter between the grande dame of stride piano, Mary Lou Williams, and 'Colonel' Edelhagen.

Williams was living in Paris at the time, and if sources are to be believed, this was the only concert she ever gave in Germany. Audibly moved, Edelhagen told the audience: “We are truly speechless that she is here playing with us today”.

Of the six pieces performed (two available as bonus tracks with the digital download), Williams played five in a trio with Werner Schulze on bass and Bobby Schmidt on drums, all of them audibly inspired – as in Blues On The Bongo Beat – by the rhythmic energy of the great lady.

In late 1954, Edelhagen made another studio recording: Alpha Jazz by Roland Kovac. A showpiece that turned into a suite, with sweeping gestures, he contrasts intricate ostinati with dense soundscapes over Latin American rhythms.

Side A

- You Go To My Head
- Tuxedo Junction
- 3 x 2
- Tiny’s Beat
- Minor Sound
- Trip To Mars

Side B
- Theme Song
- The Man I Love
- Yesterdays
- Blues On The Bongo Beat
- Nancy And The Colonel
- Alpha Jazz

Studio Recordings SWF Baden-Baden: April, July and December 1954
Live Recording Paulussaal Freiburg: November 29, 1954

Total Duration: 46:31

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