To find a forgotten record is often part of the pleasure and path of the dedicated record collector. Looking for the right record becomes a journey where flea markets and other strange places are examined, but it is also about having the right connections. Ekkehart Fleischhammer is not only an expert in finding the recorded treasures of the past, he also has the right connections. He is in touch with people who open their musical archives for him and, fortunately, the treasures he discovers are made available to a wider public through his Sonorama label. The following seven releases reflect Fleischhammer's eclectic taste that embraces everything from modern jazz and swing to vocal jazz and elegant, Brazilian funk.
Pierre Cavalli Uma Vitamina Faz Favor
Even though the music was recorded in the period from 1972-1975, it is only now that the Brazilian influenced music of Swiss guitarist Pierre Cavalli sees the light of day. Like much so-called library music, the destiny of the music was uncertain from the beginning. Some of it turned up in local TV spots and there was also music that was used as promotion for an airline. In the end, much of it was hidden in archives, but now the dusty doors of the past have opened and out comes a sun-kissed musical memory from a forgotten time.
Cavalli gets help from the ensembles of Angel Pocho Gatti and Bruno Spoerri and together they create a cinematic and richly textured groove-based music with flutes, electric bass, wordless voices, acoustic guitar musings and subtle psychedelic electric guitar. There are also some nice sound effects on the record, for instance the sound of the sea is an extra player on "Transmissão mutàvel" and "Meninas na praia." Uma Vitamina Faz Favor
is filled with laidback and light funky music that showcases Cavalli as an excellent guitar stylist, but he also gets a rare vocal performance on "Terezinha meu amor." Most of all, though, he lets the guitar do the talking.
Susannah McCorkle Adeus -The Berlin Concert
Pierre Cavalli sings with his guitar, but Susannah McCorkle
is a real singer who uses her voice as an instrument. Her interpretation of Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" shows a true singer at work. It starts with a brief, bluesy piano intro from pianist Kai Rautenberg, but then switches to a cappella where McCorkle shapes the opening words perfectly before the band enters. The tune is taken from the album Adeus -The Berlin Concert
and is one of many highlights in a varied concert repertoire that includes timeless standards, Brazilian music and a reading of her heroine Billie Holiday
's "That Ole Devil Called Love." It has a touching introduction where McCorkle explains her discovery of the singer before digging deep into the tune with soft vibrato, only accompanied by piano.
In his liner notes, Siegfried Schmidt-Joos tries to get to the heart of McCorkle's qualities as a singer: "Susannah's art lies in the co-dependence and interplay of phrasing, the articulation of sound and the text expression."
Schmidt-Joos, a radio producer, became a champion of McCorkle as soon as he heard her music and the album comes from his own archives. The concert that is documented was a special birthday gift from his broadcasting station. Schmidt-Joos chose the concert program and the musicians and McCorkle did the rest. He received a special gift and now the music moves from the private sphere into the public thanks to Schmidt-Joos and Sonorama. There are not many live recordings by McCorkle, so this is an important release and it shows the troubled singer at the top of her game.
Inge Brandenburg Don't Blame Me
Another singer captured at her artistic peak is the German singer Inge Brandenburg. Don't Blame Me
is a collection of concert recordings from 1958-1962 and two live recording sessions. The subtitle of the album is bold: Europe's Best Jazz Singer in Concert 1958-1962
. Nevertheless, after hearing the hidden gems on the record, it seems fitting.
Brandenburg did not have an easy life. Like Susannah McCorkle, she received attention for a period of her musical career, but she never got the international breakthrough she deserved. However, jazz was in her blood and she would sing no matter what and in the period where these recordings took place, the audience also recognized her greatness -just listen to the thundering applause that follows her glowing interpretation of "That Old Black Magic."
A large portion of the repertoire consists of familiar standards like "S'Wonderful," "Pennies from Heaven" and "Summertime." The thing that makes its more than worth the while to listen to these old tunes one more time is not only their timeless quality, but also the deep feeling and natural phrasing of Brandenburg. While she is technically impressive, the music is not about vocal pyrotechnics, but about getting to the core of the song. Her slow, smoky interpretation of Gershwin's "Summertime" is simply wonderful as Brandenburg lazily shapes the notes as if she is slowly waking up and stretching herself in bed. Living was far from easy for Brandenburg herself, as it is in the song, but in her music, she found a sanctuary.
Greetje Kauffeld Young Girl Sunday Jazz
Another singer on Sonorama is the Dutch jazz chanteuse Greetje Kauffeld who has had a less complicated career than Susannah McCorkle and Inge Brandenburg. To this day, Kauffeld still performs and her albums, old and new, have received critical acclaim. Young Girl Sunday Jazz
is a varied collection from the sixties when she was still young and getting her teeth into jazz. Her young age is both an advantage and a hindrance. Her silky vocal is already fully developed and she can swing effortlessly, but it becomes a bit shallow to hear the young Kauffeld singing about "Love for Sale": "I've been through the mill of love / old love / new love / every love, but true love." The lyric begs for an interpretation by an older singer who has truly experienced the "mill of love" through a whole lifetime.
Fortunately, this issue of authenticity is not a problem in the big picture. Instead, it is all about enjoying Kauffeld's swinging treatment of tunes like "Day in Day Out," "My Blue Heaven" and "Fever." There is no doubt she is a natural jazz talent. Young Girl Sunday Jazz
is an enjoyable record, but those who want an introduction to Kauffeld should not start here, but instead turn to Heaven's Open
(Sonorama, 2012) with recordings from the seventies. Kauffeld was good from the beginning, but she got even better in the next decade.
Rolf Kühn Stop Time!
One of the musicians responsible for the swinging sound on Young Girl Sunday Jazz
is the German clarinet-player Rolf Kühn. He also has an album out on Sonorama called Stop Time!
. It consists of recordings from 1962 meant for an album that was never released, but now it sees the light of day thanks to Sonorama and Kühn who found it in his archives. Here, he plays with the tight band of Klaus Doldinger on tenor saxophone, Cees See on drums, Herman Schoonderwalt on bass and Ingfried Hoffman on organ and piano.
Kühn is also called the "Clarinet Bird" and it is no coincidence. He took his instrument beyond swing and moved it into bop and later free music. Maxi Sickert who has written Kühn's biography and the liner notes for the album describes the music with a reference to the title of the album:
"Kühn's hands move faster and faster over the flaps of the clarinet, while Doldinger's flowing lines of sound and the drum and bass figures of Cees See and Herman Schoonderwalt measure the structure of tone sequences with razor-sharp precision, highly chased by the storming Hammond organ sounds of Ingfried Hoffman. And then it stops. Suddenly. Stop Time."
As Maxi Sickert points out, Kühn plays with tempi and time. The band's interpretations of bop classics from the likes of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk
and Horace Silver
are short and to the point. Kühn does not waste time. Stop Time!
is a fine bop-album where Ingfried Hoffman's organ gives the music a sprinkling of soul jazz.
Oscar Pettiford Quartet We Get the Message
Rolf Kühn's album was recorded in Hamburg and We Get the Message
is another gem recorded in the German city. The album is an unearthed concert recording from 1958 with legendary bassist and cellist Oscar Pettiford
and his international quartet with Hungarian-born guitarist Attila Zoller, Austrian saxophonist Hans Koller and Pettiford's countryman, drummer Kenny Clarke
Pettiford was so enamored with music that he named his children "Cello," "Celesta" and "Cellina" and the deep love of music shines through the recording where it sounds like the musicians are enjoying every moment.
The repertoire is modern with a solid sense of swing. Koller is cooking right from the beginning on a reading of his own tune "Cohn's Limit" and Pettiford's natural swinging sound is the foundation of it all. While there are plenty of swinging tunes, there is also room for a beautiful ballad. Friedrich Gulda's "Dark Glow" begins with Zoller's crisp guitar chords and Clarke's gentle touch on the cymbals before Koller's saxophone enters like smoke rising from a cigarette.
However, the melancholy mood is not dominant and the message of the concert is about the joy that jazz music can bring.
Lucky Thompson / Barney Wilen / Bent Jaedig / Helmut Brandt Four Brothers
2015 Four Brothers
is yet another hidden gem from Hamburg. The title is a reference to Jimmy Giuffre
's standard of the same name played by three tenor saxophones and one baritone saxophone. The original brothers were Stan Getz
, Zoot Sims
, Herbie Steward and Serge Chaloff
but here we have a new incarnation of the brothers with Lucky Thompson and Barney Wilen on tenor and soprano saxophone, Bent Jaedig on tenor saxophone and Helmut Brandt
playing baritone saxophone.
Together these four brothers create a rich and swinging sound where their saxophone lines intertwine beautifully. Thompson's "Why Weep" is a fine example of the tight interplay in the group, but they also break out with sophisticated solos.
The group is caught live in a studio concert from 1960. The sound is excellent and the set list, with no less than sixteen tunes, is generous. Like the other six releases from Sonorama, this buried treasure from the past sounds remarkably fresh.
Tracks and Personnel Uma Vitamina Faz Favor
Tracks: Possarinhos; Tempo in tempo; Uma vitamina faz favor; Cachaça; Violão em foco; Pao de açucar; Transmissão mutàvel; Caçador; Lembrança do Santos; Tecidos; Terezinha meu amor; Tranquilamente; Alegria; Meninas na praia.
Personnel: Pierre Cavalli: guitar, vocals; Merry Francen: vocals + the orchestra of Angel Pocho Gatti with unknown musicians. Adeus -The Berlin Concert
Tracks: Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart; Still Crazy After All These Years; Adeus America; Get Out Of Town; That Ole Devil Called Love; Don`t Fence Me In; Instrumental; I Thought About You; Swing That Music; That Old Feeling; You Do Something To Me; P`rá Machucar Meu Coracao; Instrumental/ S` Wonderful; Bye Bye Baby; Instrumental/ Outro.
Personnel: Susannah McCorkle: vocal; Kai Rautenberg: piano and arrangements; Dave King: bass; Ned Irving: drums; Walter Gauchel: tenor saxophone. Don't Blame Me
Tracks: S`Wonderful; Lover Come Back To Me; Give Me The Simple Life; Pennies From Heaven; Secret Love; Don`t Blame Me; That Old Black Magic; Lover Man; Dancing On The Ceiling; Summertime; There`ll Never Be Another You; S`Wonderful.
Personnel: Inge Brandenburg: vocal; Rolf Lüttgens: piano; Peter Trunk: bass; Rudi Sehring: drums; Helmut Brandt: baritone saxophone; Harry Samp: trumpet; Heinz Niemeyer: drums; Heinz Cramer: guitar; Günther Schemmler: piano; Alex Mackowiak: bass; Adie Feuerstein: vibraphone; Dieter von Goetze: bass; Rolf Lüttgens: piano; Rolf Quenzel: drums. Young Girl Sunday Jazz
Tracks: Almost Like Being In Love; Saturday Night; Fever; Handful Of Soul; Orange Coloured Sky; Love For Sale; Shiny Stockings; Deed I Do; My Kinda World; My Blue Heaven; Day In Day Out; Makin` Whoopee; You And I (Você E Eu); It`s Alright With Me; Who Knows Why; Almost Like Being In Love.
Personnel: Greetje Kauffeld: vocal; Tony Vos: alto saxophone; Jan Huydts: piano; Arend Nijenhuis: bass; John Engels Jr.: drums; Rolf Kühn: clarinet; Wolfgang Schlüter: vibraphone; Cees Slinger: piano; Theo Loevendie: soprano saxophone; Dick van der Capellen: bass; John Engels: drums; Ingfried Hoffmann: organ; Paul Kuhn: piano; Henk Meutgert: piano; Jan Huydts: piano; Thymen Hoolwerf: guitar; Arend Nijenhuis: bass. Stop Time!
Tracks: Sister Sadie; Let`s Do It; Hippy; The Nearness Of You; Bemsha Swing; This Can`t Be Love; The Birth Of The Blues; Solar; Stop Time; Scrapple From The Apple; Mayreh; Blowing The Blues Away; Melodie In D; Au Privave.
Personnel: Rolf Kühn: clarinet; Klaus Doldinger: tenor saxophone; Ingfried Hoffmann: organ, piano; Cees See: drums; Herman Schoonderwalt: bass. We Get Message
Tracks: Cohn's Limit; Yardbird Suite; Dark Glow; Gertberg Walk; Stalag 414; Love Nest; Ghost of a Chance; Willi Der Bär.
Personnel: Oscar Pettiford: bass, cello; Kenny Clarke: drums; Hans Koller: tenor & alto saxophone; Attila Zoller: guitar; Werner Giertz: piano; Gerd Dudek: tenor saxophone; Willi Sanner: baritone saxophone; Dave Moore: bass. Four Brothers
Tracks: This Here; Why Weep; Have A Light; Oleo; I Want To Be Happy; Jahrgang`37; Autumn Leaves; One Last Goodbye; Take The A Train; Düsseldorf Süd -Wuppertal West; Iris; I Surrender Dear; Easy; The Mysterioso Mr. X; Edith; Einsames Mädchen Am Meer.
Personnel: Lucky Thompson: soprano & tenor saxophone; Barney Wilen: soprano & tenor saxophone; Helmut Brandt: baritone saxophone; Bent Jaedig: tenor saxophone; Roland Kovac: piano; Larry Atwell: guitar; Jürgen Ehlers: bass; Rudy Pronk: drums.