Woody is missing!

Here it comes: the next thrilling memory of a musician whom the world of jazz must never forget – despite his early death in 1989 at the age of only 44. After the earlier release of a concert given by the quintet of trumpeter Woody Shaw in 1982 at the “Onkel Pö’s Carnegie Hall“ in Hamburg we are now turning back the clock another three years for this CD.


Chet Baker
On that evening I was there myself...but way too young to realise what was going on. However, I did manage to convince the music-editor of my local newspaper’s arts section, who had an open mind when it came to jazz, to commission me to write a piece on Chet Baker. The legends surrounding his life were omnipresent – already since the start of his career together with Charlie Parker and all the more since forming part of the unparalleled quartet led by baritone-saxophonist Gerry Mulligan...


Learn to Inherit

It is a positive sensation and pure joy to be reminded of an extraordinary and very special musician by this current CD release – as Woody Shaw disappeared from the personal jazz-universe of way too many people after his early and tragic death in May 1989. Unjustly of course – Shaw represents a position in the recent history of the jazz trumpet, which hardly ever before nor after was painted so clearly, so precisely and with so much energy: as the quivering and delicate virtuosity of a coeval, who has absorbed virtually all earlier traditions – modernity and awareness for history as the spirit of jazz.


Reverberations from the Future and the Past

Just recently two brilliant minds of modern jazz celebrated a truly exceptional anniversary. David Liebman, the 1946 born saxophonist from New York and Richie Beirach, one year his junior and a leading exponent of the modern jazz-piano who, just as Liebman, came from New York and spent much of his life in Cologne, have literally met 50 years ago for the first time.


Johnny Guitar Watson
Those, who want to get some idea of the original vibe at the old “Onkel Pö” in Hamburg, have to meet up with Harriet Maué. If possible, at the spot where she always used to sit – on the right side of the stage, slightly centred, in the depth of the space and with a diagonal view on the stage (today the spot is occupied by the kitchen of a very common resto-chain). This is where the bar of “Onkel Pö’s Carnegie Hall” and thus Harriet’s workplace were located; for many visitors, this spot must also have been a sort of mystical “home”.


The “Ever More” of Jazz

One of the most fascinating chapters in jazz history has been written by the “Americans in Europe” – masters of jazz from the homeland of this genre of music, who for different reasons did not feel at ease in their fatherland, the USA; most of the time there were just not enough jobs and even less appreciation for their work. The latent racism also played a role and some wanted to protest against the hubris of their home country, which wanted to police the world and again and again stumbled into armed conflicts.


Songs for the Father

When he turned 80 himself, the drummer Louis Hayes once - and with renewed enthusiasm - remembered the master of jazz, to whom he himself owed so much: the pianist, composer and style-forming bandleader Horace Silver, who had passed away three years earlier and who had spent the last years of his life gravely ill. However, another six decades earlier, the very same Horace Silver, who back then had just started his own band after leaving Art Blakey’s “Jazz Messengers”-school, asked a not-yet 20-year old guy from Detroit


Fire inside the Ice
Welcome back from Heaven!

It is uncertain, who initially had the idea to provide the Texan blues musician Albert Collins with trademarks all linked to ice: to call himself “The Iceman” and to name one of his main recordings of the late-70s “Ice picking”. Already the music made by the young Collins, born 1932 in Leona/Texas, was praised to be especially “cool”; and of course, when he performed on the tiny stage of “Onkel Pö’s Carnegie Hall” ...


Vote Dizzy!

Considering the current developments on the market for Presidents of the United States one should probably remind the public, that even this strange bird - John Birks Gillespie from Cheraw, South Carolina, born in October 1917, nicknamed “Dizzy” since the start of his professional career and thus declared a bit crazy – once wanted to become President of the United States. Seriously? 


Timeless Energy

Initially, the name was meant literally – the music produced by this ensemble should be timeless; one should be able to listen to it again and again throughout the years, independently from the prevailing zeitgeist. All the artists who came together to form this label have proven - over decades in different bands - that they were masters of the “mainstream”- sound of jazz: the saxophonist Harold Land, the trombonist Curtis Fuller and Bobby Hutcherson on the vibraphone; they were accompanied by a rhythm section which was always more than just that...



When the band of a percussionist conquers the concert stages, then an emancipation of a particular kind is always part of the story. Although, from time to time a representative of this most primordial of all forms of music has made it to the top of an orchestra, like Chick Webb, the legendary discoverer and mentor of Ella Fitzgerald – until the studio- and recording technology was able to fine-tune the drums, the central role of the rhythmist was always constrained.


The good ‘bad’ Spirit of Blues

We can only guess, if the local yellow press sent a journalist to “Onkel Pö’s Carnegie Hall” on October 27, 1976 – the concert which took place on that very day is documented on this CD – to report, if the man from New Orleans would misbehave yet again. James Carroll Booker III, aged 35 at the time of his visit to Hamburg, had to defend a particularly bad reputation (at least when seen from a petty bourgeois point of view).


Evocating Ghosts

The voice of this singer seemed to originate in another world. Perhaps it was at home in some wild jungle…Esther Phillips went stalking in it with her recorder and collected sounds. Every one of them she also tried out herself – the growling and purring of large and small wildcats, the buzzing and chirping and screeching of numerous birds high up in the treetops, the dark and pulsating breath of a predatory animal behind the next turn of the road. 


Mirror Image

When Freddie Hubbard came to Hamburg to get on the tiny stage of “Onkel Pö’s Carnegie Hall”, he was right at the centre of the world of jazz, probably more than ever before or after in his career – together with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams the trumpet player had set-up the quintet “V.S.O.P.” three years earlier; as the other four people of the group had previously formed the legendary second quintet of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard could be considered to be his direct successor.


At Home away from Home

It was certainly not the case that Hannover suddenly had become one of the world’s blues-metropolis – but surprisingly enough, in the mid-1970s not only one but two important representatives of this musical genre decided to settle down in the city. Even before Louisiana Red, who in real life was known as Iverson Minter, born 1932 in Bessemer/Alabama, another artist, Jack Dupree, called “Champion” (because of his boxing-past – malicious gossip has it, that his boxing style was the same as that of his piano play; but that is certainly not true) had already moved there in 1976.