Julie Kelly at Catalina's Bar and Grill

Julie Kelly at Catalina's Bar and Grill

Saturday, March 3, 2012

JazzHaus

© -  Steven A. Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.


It’s not everyday that a new Jazz label is announced and certainly even rarer still that such a label will focus on previously un-issued music by Jazz Giants such as Gerry Mulligan, Benny Goodman and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, to name just some artists from the label’s initial release.

Thanks to the information contained in a recently received press release by Michael Bloom Media Relations, it looks as though such a cause for celebration is on its way, March 27, 2012.

For on that date, Naxos of America and ArtHaus Musik will launch JazzHaus with the first quarterly release of CD’s by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, the Gerry Mulligan Sextet and the Benny Goodman Orchestra featuring vocalist Anita O’Day.

The JazzHaus CD/DVD series will include a first quarterly release [March 27] of CDs by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet recorded in performance at Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany, March 20, 1969, the Gerry Mulligan Sextet recorded in performance in the same venue on November 22, 1977 and the Benny Goodman Orchestra in performance at Stadthalle-Freiburg, Germany, on October 15, 1959 featuring vocalist Anita O’Day.

According to Michael’s press information, in its future issues, JazzHaus will continue to bring forth audio and video discs featuring “an indefinite number of audio and video jazz programs taken from live radio and television recordings from the archives of Sudwestrundfunk Stuttgart, Baden-Baden and Mainz in southwest Germany.


Jazz broadcasts by Sudwestrundfunk (SWR) started in the summer of 1947 with young impresarios Joachim-Ernst Berendt and Dieter Zimmerle. Today, almost 65 years later, the archives contain about 1,600 audio and more than 350 television recordings of all major modern jazz artists - probably the biggest collection of unpublished live jazz recordings in the world: 3,000 hours - and almost all of it has never been released before. More than 400 ensembles and soloists are listed - many of them recorded three, four, five or more times over the decades.

For the last three years, the JAZZHAUS team has been thoroughly researching the vaults, carefully making the final selections. The old tapes are currently being re-mastered to high-end technology standards and will be released on CD, DVD, vinyl, and as audio /video-on-demand downloads.”

Here’s some additional background information about the project.

Post-War Europe - Germany in particular - gave American jazz artists a warm reception. Following the nightmare of Nazism, Deutschland was a devastated country and culturally in ruins. The people warmly welcomed U.S. soldiers who brought jazz to the nightclubs of their cities and later the big bands and ensembles to the major venues of their towns.

Many of the performers felt accepted and understood with their art for the first time in their lives - and needless to say, these circumstances improved the quality of their playing. Many of them remained in Europe, finding new homes in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Baden-Baden.

People flocked to the concert halls in Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Mainz, Ludwigshafen, and Sindelfingen. It took the expertise of young Stunde Null jazz editors at the radio stations not only to invite top artists and ensembles but also to ensure excellent audio and (later) video results from the public performances. The superb acoustics of the newly built Liederhalle-Stuttgart turned many performances into an unforgettable experience.

In the vaults, we find exuberant music treasures (to name just a few): a jam session with Duke Ellington, Lester Young and The Modern Jazz Quartet (1954), a riveting recording of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers made shortly after their first Blue Note recording (1958); a Quincy Jones big band television recording (1960).


All major big bands traveled extensively through Germany's southwest and set the standard for the radio big bands from Stuttgart and Baden-Baden. Stunning audio recordings feature Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Zoot Sims, Ben Webster, Joe Henderson, Cannonball Adderley, Roland Kirk, Max Roach, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Thelonious Monk, and Eric Dolphy.

Also documented are upcoming European performers like Hans Koller, Albert Mangelsdorff, Klaus Doldinger, Joe Zawinul, Joachim Kiihn, and Attila Zoller. Mainz also holds superb hitherto unknown Volker Kriegel recordings from 1963. From France we hear Kenny Clarke, Martial Solal, Andre Hodeir, Barney Wilen, Rene Urtreger, and Pierre Michelot.

All the most influential performers of free jazz and the so-called Third Stream are extensively recorded. We are gripped by the voices of Nina Simone, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Abbey Lincoln, or Cassandra Wilson. Blues artists are featured, with all the leading performers from B.B. King to Olu Dara. We experience the breakthrough of John Mclaughlin, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Eberhard Weber, Jan Garbarek, Pat Metheny, and Bobby McFerrin and crossover artists like Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker.”

Each of the “Legends Live” JazzHaus CD is formatted in a six-pack: a tri-fold paper sleeve with cover art, tray plate information and a photo of the artist by Jorg Becker on the outside and insert notes in English and German plus the disc itself on the inside.

The sound quality of these recordings has to be experienced to be believed.  The re-mastering has complemented the original acoustics in which the performances were made to the point that the music almost jumps out at you.

And the artists respond to the obvious adoration that these German audiences put on display by bringing forth a series of first-rate performances.  There is nothing like the experience of “live” Jazz and these JazzHaus CDs go a long way toward underscoring this fact.

The late Jazz writer and essayist Mike Zwerin once said that after the Second World War, Jazz went to Europe to keep from dying.

If the music on these JazzHaus CDs is any example,  Mike’s argument is well-substantiated as they leave little doubt that Jazz was alive and well in Germany from 1959 – 1977.



Recorded live at Liederhalle Stuttgart on March 20,1969 Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (as), Nat Adderley (tp) Joe Zawinul (p, key), Victor Gaskin (b), Roy McCurdy (dr)
Total Time: 60:12

“Adderley achieved immortality in the Miles Davis Quintet with Kind of Blue - and his album Something Else is possibly the best of the Blue Note albums. That was the late 1950s. Ten years later, Adderley was touring Europe with his own quintet and gave a performance at Stuttgart's Liederhalle. Even during the sound check, the musicians must have sensed the concert hall's unique atmosphere; that evening would go down as a landmark performance. From soul jazz, and blues ("Sweet Emma", "Why Am I Treated So Bad"), to free-form contemporariness ("Somewhere") and lollipops infused with canny commerciality ("Work Song", "Walk Tall"), the listener is treated here to the sublime art of the quintet - even at a time when that classic bebop formation was already on the wane.

And then there is Zawinul! If truth be told, it was his concert. A jet-black figure at the keyboard ("Oh Babe"), swinging and quirky on the piano ("Rumpelstiltskin," "The Painted Desert"). A kobold stoking the flames - as if trying to shed the state of hypnosis that had gripped him a month earlier while recording In A Silent Way. Something stopped to make way for the new. Things are getting better. The following year Zawinul formed Weather Report and stormed to worldwide celebrity. But the concert of March 1969 remains: the legacy of a unique quintet. Soulful and swinging, a timeless classic even today.”


Recorded live at Liederhalle-Stuttgart on November 22,1977 Gerry Mulligan (bs), Dave Samuels (vib), Thomas Fay (p) Mike Santiago (g), George Duvivier (b), Bobby Rosengarden (dr) Total Time: 68:32

“The youngest of four brothers, New Yorker Gerry Mulligan spent his teenage years in many different parts of the United States, learning in succession to play piano, clarinet, alto, tenor, and finally baritone sax. Together with Gil Evans and Miles Davis, the 20-year-old worked on the revolutionary nonet compositions for Birth of the Cool in 1948. The gangly sandy-haired musician with his big Conn baritone made his recording debut as a leader in 1951 and moved to Los Angeles as arranger for the Stan Kenton Big Band. With Chet Baker, he formed a popular piano-free quartet and worked as a sideman on numerous recording sessions. He never liked the label West Coast Jazz: "My bands would have been successful anywhere."

In 1960, he put together the successful Concert Jazz Band and around 1968 began a sporadic but sustained partnership with Dave Brubeck. In Stuttgart, now aged 50, he was already looking back on a career spanning almost 30 years and was much in demand at that time as a soloist for symphonic saxophone concertos. Mulligan presents his handpicked sextet at the Liederhalle, where the opening number "For An Unfinished Woman" shows that far from being tinged with nostalgia his approach is still a contemporary work in progress - albeit one that never abandoned its Cool School roots. The irrefutable evidence is to be found in inspired, elegant versions of classics such as "Line For Lyons" and "My Funny Valentine", as well as in Mulligan's sense of theatre.”


Recorded live at Stadthalle-Freiburg on October 15,1959 Benny Goodman (cl, arr), Anita O'Day (voc), Russ Freeman (p), Red Norvo (vib), Jack Sheldon (tp), Flip Phillips (ts), Bill Harris (tb), Jerry Dodgion (fl), Jimmy Wyble (g), Red Wootton (b), John Markham (d)
Total Time: 76:07

“Ecstatic acclaim for the King of Swing that Thursday in Freiburg back in October 1959 remains an intoxicating experience. A tight and sprightly band in top swinging form, the elegant tones of Benny Goodman's clarinet and the sensational Anita O'Day. O'Day's sensuality and mellow phrasing in Fats Waller's impudent "Honeysuckle Rose" and Earl Bostic's somewhat frivolous, leisurely version of "Let Me Off Uptown" make these sets spark and crackle with energy even 50 years on.

The recordings reveal the warmth and enthusiasm with which the King of Swing was received on his tour of Germany. The tumultuous applause was merely a foretaste of the liberating effect that rock 'n' roll was about to unleash - a new genre which before long would steal the limelight from those in the jazz world who had made it possible. Goodman's orchestra, effectively a band of bandleaders, showcases one of the finest line-ups of the post-war era and underpins the evening's success with solos that are sharp and savored to the full.

Almost a generation separated Jack Sheldon and Jerry Dodgion from Goodman and the idiosyncratic Red Norvo, but the ensemble playing is superb. A real highlight is the medley based on "Not For Me" featuring the scatting O'Day.”

And thanks to the assistance of the crackerjack graphics team at CerraJazz LTD, we are able to be you an example of the music on offer in this series with this video tribute to JazzHaus.

The audio is from the Gerry Mulligan Legends Live CD with Gerry’s sextet performing Duke Ellington’s Satin Doll.

More information about future releases in this wonderful series can be located at www.jazzhaus-label.com.