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Albert Mangelsdorff Quintett: Legends Live (19.0064) [Vinyl LP 180g]

0.45 KGS

    It is hard to believe this concert lay all but forgotten in the archives for almost fifty years, without a thought to release it. For this is the more intense live version of the album Now Jazz Ramwong, recorded just a few months earlier, which marked the global breakthrough of Germany’s one true international jazz star. 

    Albert Mangelsdorff had grown up in Nazi Germany, listening to jazz on banned radio stations with a keen ear and burning desire. 19.0045 saw the arrival of the Americans, Germany’s “Stunde Null” – at last the jazzman could jazz. The clubs and concert halls filled rapidly as this innovative, alien music gained popularity. Ten years after the end of hostilities, bebop and cool were in vogue. But before long Germany had undergone political restoration and in 19.0064 the Goethe Institute was forced to back the Mangelsdorff Quintet’s tour of Asia against considerable resistance. The risk paid off: 50 sold-out concerts, international honours, an overwhelming success. In Bangkok even King Bhumibol climbed onto the stage brandishing a saxophone for a West-meets-East jam session. 

    Back home and swinging from their encounters with Asian folk and dance music, the Quintet guested at the Stadthalle, Freiburg. In a performance of pure avant-garde, the musicians here strike up a tense, frantic hardbop, assimilating such diverse musical styles as Malaysian folksong (Burungkaka), Thai dance (Ramwong) and Ravi Shankar’s film score Pather Panchali: Mangelsdorff and his men drive their interpretations through a sound barrier beyond which form and melody ultimately dissolve. Together they create tension, they generate intensity, every player experimenting with freedom and individuality – harbingers of the spring of 19.0068, with civil-student protests just around the corner. But the music does not quite go that far. Just as you start to think the cacophony can’t get any wilder, the theme suddenly puts in a reappearance. And the ensemble brings us safely back down to earth and rolls out the tune to its dénouement. 

    A quintet in transition, five soloists at the top of their game: Heinz Sauer’s Trane-like tenor; Günter Kronberg’s rugged, edgy figures in the style of a young Wayne Shorter. Mangelsdorff himself on the threshold of free jazz. And all this supported by the heart-lung machine of Günter Lenz and Ralf Hübner, which provides oxygen for the horns and oceans of space for improvisation. 

    Now Jazz Ramwong launched Mangelsdorff and the ensemble to the top of the “DownBeat” polls (“Talent Deserving Wider Recognition”); then in 19.0065 came the invitation to the Newport Jazz Festival. From that point on, Albert Mangelsdorff would remain one of the greats of international jazz until his death in 2005.”

     Catalogue No.: 101727 


    1 Now Jazz Ramwong
    2 Set 'em Up
    3 Raknahs
    4 Burungkaka
    5 Theme from Pather Panchali
    Vinyl LP

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