Unfortunately this exceptional orchestra never performed in public – it was a studio band. In the mid-sixties, top European musicians congregated in Munich to record background music for radio and television. The big band played compositions and arrangements written by Dr. Roland Kovac, a brilliant musician whose career began with the Vienna Boys Choir. As his career progressed, he became an “all-purpose writer and one of the big earners in popular music” (DER SPIEGEL). Kovac produced some 2000 musical works, including jazz pieces with such original titles as Bath Water and Goin My Hemming-way, as well as film music and advertising jingles for AEG appliances and 4711 Cologne. By the time he recorded his Trip to the Mars suite in 1964, Kovac had his roots in the jazz field; he was the pianist in saxophonist Hans Koller’s quintet, and was already a much sought-after big band arranger (his doctoral thesis was “Harmonic Structure in the Music of the Late Baroque Period”). Joachim-Ernst Berendt prized his music as a “uniquely independent contribution to the European scene”. Kovac’s Mars suite begins on a shrill note. It contains blues and bop passages. With the movement Munich on the Mars, the rocking jazz band transforms itself into a thumping brass band. There’s the kind of humor in this wide-ranging work that would work well as the soundtrack of a space or a crime series.