In Germany, the years right before, during, and immediately following World War II marked the golden age of the Tanzorchester, the German dance bands who played for dancers and enthusiasts alike during the dark years of the Nazi regime. Like many of their British and American counterparts, these orchestras were characterized by both sweet and swinging sounds, and many of them featured musicians who were fascinated by hot jazz. This inevitably garnered some of these bands the opposition of the Nazi authorities, who saw jazz as unerwünschte Musik (that is, "undesirable music") in every way contrary to their ideology and political agenda, and actively sought to ban its performance both on German soil and in any Nazi-occupied territories. Often defying a ban that was rather difficult to put into practice anyway, some of these Tanzorchester kept on including jazzy solos and arrangements in their live performances and occasionally on their recordings.
"Zigeunerfox," for instance), many of the songs presented here are original compositions by trombonist Willy Berking ("Atlantis," "Klavierträume," "Zum Tanzen geboren"), and the orchestra even attempts a German adaptation of the onomatopoeic Charles Trenet hit "Boum," given the German title "Bum Bum." After the war, Rehmstedt's Tanzorchester disbanded, and he found work as the director of the Radio Bremen studio orchestra. He passed away in 1956, following a car accident, and leaving behind some very interesting recordings, many of which are available on this CD release from Membran.
the one that lends its title to this CD, never fail to swing. These sessions find Winter at ease in a variety of settings, mostly leading a larger dance band, but at times also fronting a trio, a quartet, and a quintet. In addition to playing clarinet and sax, Winter also provides the vocal refrains, always charming and enjoyable, as in "Komm doch in meine Arme," "Ich nenne alle Frauen Baby," "Fräulein Madeleine," and "Frauen sind keine Engel," among others. One of the most popular artists to come out of the Tanzorchester era, he would represent Austria in the 1960 Eurovision Song Contest using the stage name Harry Winter and would devote his entire life to music, both classical and popular, even becoming a choir director in his later years. This 24-track collection is definitely the most appropriate starting point for anyone interested in getting acquainted with Winter's vintage swinging sound.
Here is a video of a 1960s television appearance by Horst Winter, who performs "Exactly Like You."
Here is the Kurt Edelhagen Orchestra in Berlin in 1966, playing "Alice in Wonderland," with Jiggs Whigham on trombone and Bora Rokovic on piano.
"Wee Dot," "Almost Like Being in Love," "Too Close for Comfort") and of restrained melancholy on the only ballad of the session ("Violets for Your Furs"). The group is rounded out by Jerry Lloyd on trumpet, Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass, and Ed Thigpen on drums, and this quintet setting is perfect to showcase Hipp's delicate playing. Lloyd provides an original composition ("Down Home") and Sims another one ("Just Blues"), and even though Sims's tenor saxophone is accorded more space than Hipp's piano, it is Hipp that creates the wistful, easy-going atmosphere that makes this album a winner. The 2008 CD reissue adds two tracks from the session that never made it onto the original LP ("These Foolish Things" and "'S Wonderful"), thus offering everything that Hipp and Sims recorded together. Hipp, who was also a talented painter, would inexplicably retire from the New York jazz scene shortly after leading this session, and this very recommendable quintet album is definitely the highlight of her meager, though very interesting, discography.
|Zoot Sims and Jutta Hipp|