In Memoriam: Albert Mangelsdorff 1928-2005
I met Albert for the first time in 1957 in Basle, no single words were exchanged, only play and that particular look from Albert. In the meantime I have learned that in the first look the future can be read and so was it with Albert. His look said, I trust you, lets play together und do the best you can, my friend. Since then and more than 40 years, it stayed right there. I always felt that deep friendship between us, about which we never talked, as it usual for real friendship. We have never talked much but we have played und we trusted each other.
Albert was a master, he loved the music, he was always real. His generosity, his deep understanding for the music as a whole, never suffering of any feeling of pretention. He has like no other musician I know looked at the drums as a musical instrument and the drummer as a full musical partner and this in his very natural reactions and behaviour. I believe he didn't even know that, he really was just like that. I can't remember that Albert in all these years of playing would ever have interupted myself while soloing, just on the opposite, he has always followed the discourse of any of his musicians with his particularly attentive ear. And if he ever intervened, it was always to help and never to pull the attention on himself.
He was always dedicated to the music, he was a "real great" and like the rare real great musicians a very modest person.