Albert Mangelsdorff Quintett (Ensemble)
- Now Jazz Ramwong
- Set ’em Up
- Theme from Pather Panchali
It is hard to believe this concert lay all but forgotten in the archives for almost 50 years – particularly as it marks the breakthrough of Albert Mangelsdorff as Germany’s one true international jazz star.
At the insistence of Joachim-Ernst Berendt, head of SWF’s jazz department, the Goethe Institut dispatched Mangelsdorff and his quintet on a tour of Asia in 1964. Nobody had reckoned on concert sell-outs, a frenzied media circus and prestigious honours. Back home and swinging from their encounters with Asian folk and dance music, the Quintet guested in Freiburg with a performance of pure avant-garde: a tense, frantic bop, shifting playfully between musical styles from Mali (Burungkaka), Thailand (Ramwong) and Ravi Shankar’s fi lm score Peter Panchali, ultimately reaching the point of entry to free jazz.
For fi ve soloists at the top of their game the formula was a simple one: Heinz Sauer’s tenor is Trane-like in quality (Pather Panchali); Günter Kronberg’s alto (Set ’em Up) develops rugged, edgy fi gures in the style of a young Wayne Shorter; Günter Lenz on bass and Ralf Hübner on drums combine to form a heart-lung machine that provides oxygen for the horns and oceans of space for improvisation. This material later gave rise to Now Jazz Ramwong, the Quintet’s best known recording. It would launch the ensemble to the top of the “DownBeat” polls (“Talent Deserving Wider Recognition”). It also assured Albert Mangelsdorff a place in the pantheon of jazz greats.