COMPOSERS: Volker Kriegel
LABELS: Art Of Groove
ALBUM TITLE: Volker Kriegel & Friends
WORKS: Live At Jazzfest Berlin ’81
PERFORMER: Volker Kriegel (guitar), Eberhard Weber (bass), Thomas Bettermann (keys), etc
CATALOGUE NO: MIG80187
Many people outside the jazz world are familiar with Kriegel’s work, albeit without realising, thanks to the iconic 1960s jazz-sitar track ‘Mathar’. But he was also a prolific jazz-rock innovator, through his collaborations with many leading jazz artists on the European scene and releases in the ’70s.
On this live Berlin date, he draws together a fine group of ‘friends’, including ECM names such as bassist Weber and drummer Ralf Hübner. This combines with the multi-keyboard wizardry of Bettermann and cascading vibes of Wolfgang Schlüter. The opener ‘Calcador’, the only sitar-sounding track, has a laid-back mood, underpinned by Weber’s resonant six-string bass. (And for fans of the bassist there’s a four-minute solo piece). ‘Schwebebahn’ (monorail) takes an invigorating 14-minute excursion, while ‘Donalds Bluse’ keeps the pace hard. The sound is ‘live’ but the sheer musicianship (and bonus DVD) make this well worth a look.