Jazz CD Reviews

Volker Kriegel, guitar – Mainz 1963-69 “Lost Tapes” Series – Jazz Haus/SWR Music/ArtHaus Musik (2 CDs)

This excellent German guitarist of the '60s is a real surprise.

Published on November 5, 2013

Volker Kriegel, guitar – Mainz 1963-69 “Lost Tapes” Series – Jazz Haus/SWR Music/ArtHaus Musik (2 CDs)

Volker Kriegel, guitar – Mainz 1963-69 “Lost Tapes” Series [TrackList follows] – Jazz Haus/SWR Music/ArtHaus Musik 101 726 (2 CDs), 138:48 [Distr. by Naxos] ****:

(Volker Kriegel (g); Helmut Kampe (b); Dieter Matschof (dr); Claudio Szenkar (vib, conga, p); Dieter von Goestz (b); Peter Baumeister (dr); Reinhard Knieper (b); Ralf Hübner (dr); Emil Mangelsdorff (fl); Hans Rettenbacher (b); Fritz Hartschuh (vib); Gustle Mayer (ts))

I was surprised I’d never heard of this guitarist before, but it’s understandable since Amazon lists none of his recordings, and these excellent-fidelity German tapes were made in the ‘60s, starting when Kriegel was only 19 years old. At the start he got his ideas from various jazz standards such as John Lewis’ “Django,” and Thelonious Monk. He began with a trio format, than added a fine vibist—I guess that’s Claudio Szenkar listed above. Flutist Emil Mangelsdorff adds some intriguing flute lines here and there.

Eventually Kriegel the composer began to appear, with tracks such as the enjoyable “Tea and Rum.”  The Dave Pike Set picked up on some of his tunes and made them well known.  The first CD has Kriegel more to the forefront, and his laid-back but most listenable improvisations in evidence. In many tracks of the second CD he is just a part of a larger ensemble and sometimes hardly noticed, whereas at other times he really wails. His composition “Soul Eggs” stands out in the middle of the second CD, and the album wraps up with, of all things, a Frank Zappa tune, “Mother People.”  Guitar fans will love this one.


CD 1:
» John Lewis: Django
 » John Lewis: Tabu
 » Trad.: Israel
 » Trad.: Saint Louis-Blues
 » Thelonious Monk: Rhythm-A-Ning
 » Trad.: Les Enfants s’ennuient le dimanche
 » Joseph Kosma: Autumn Leaves
 » Trad.: Three Seconds
 » Volker Kriegel: Tea And Rum
 » Volker Kriegel: Morandi
 » Trad.: Don’t Wait
 » Trad.: Na Na Imboro
 » Trad.: Nyleve
 » Trad.: Connie’s Blues
CD 2:
» Trad.: Vian-De
» Trad.: Traffic Jam
» Trad.: Little Pear
» Lennon / Mc Cartney: Norwegian Wood
» Trad.: Five By Four
» Trad.: Royal Harp
» Trad.: Cry It Out
» Volker Kriegel: Soul Eggs
» Trad.: Noisy Silence, Gentle Noise
» Trad.: Somewhat, Somewhere, Somehow
» Trad.: Sitting On My Knees
» Trad.: Slums On Wheels
» Trad.: I’m On My Way
» Trad.: Pluns
» Frank Zappa: Mother People

—John Henry

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