This 1978 live recording gathers together some of the most prominent German and international musicians on the German jazz scene. The first of this double album set focuses on the Erwin Lehn Orchestra. Lehn headed South German Broadcasting’s jazz band for over 40 years; under his direction it became renowned for its international lineup, star-studded array of guest soloists, and hip arrangements. A swinging How Deep Is the Ocean features Texas trombonist Joe Gallardo, Dutch flugelhornist Ack van Rooyen, Swedish trombonist Bertil Strandberg, and German trumpeter Klaus Osterloh. On Horst Jankowski’s emotive, Blue Mood, the German pianist takes a couple of soulful choruses before romping into a joyous double-time. German star Max Greger struts forward with his gritty tenor sound on the R&B classic Night Train, and German clarinet great Rolf Kühn devours the Swing Era favorite, Sing, Sing, Sing. Alto saxophonist Bernd Rabe is featured on his The Unknown Song, while Hans Koller’s Ballad For Norma Jean has the German saxophonist stretching out on tenor and sopranino. The second album showcases six small groups. Popularized by Louis Armstrong, this swing version of Shine features clarinetist Heinz Schönberger and the popular German pianist Paul Kuhn. The listener is treated to two pianists on Fats Waller’s Honeysuckle Rose, as Kuhn and Jankowski trade off. Heralded for his music scores for such classic films as The NeverEnding Story and Das Boot, tenor saxophonist Klaus Doldinger along with stalwarts bassist Thomas Stabenow and drummer Joe Nay tackle Thelonious Monk’s Well You Needn’t in trio. Helmut Brandt’s pensive Nordlicht (Northern Lights) features pianist Jankowski’s reflective intro into the beautifully arranged theme. Fontainebleau has vibraphonist Wolfgang Schlüter and Michael Naura in duo ranging from free-form to structured melodic interplay. Alto saxophonist Emil Mangelsdorff and tenor saxophonist Joki Freund tip their hats to modern piano icon Lennie Tristano with an impressive foray into the kingdom of bop on Tristano’s Lennie Bird. A special album that gives the listener an aural glimpse into the depth of talent within the German jazz scene of the 70’s.


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