Sunday, July 31, 2005

From the DMG Newsletter - Albert Mangelsdorff is gone.


"On July 25th, German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff passed away at age 76 after a long illness. He was considered Germany's most famous and beloved musician and one of jazz' most accomplished trombonists. Mangelsdorff's career began in the mid '50s through his older brother Emil (a capable jazz saxophonist and flutist who is still active). He played with many different German groups in his native Frankfurt, recording often with Hans Koller's groups. He was a German representative in the Newport Jazz Festival International Youth Band. His first exposure to world audiences came in 1962 when he recorded Animal Dance with the MJQ's John Lewis. From 1963 to 1971, Mangelsdorff led a working group that recorded such seminal European jazz albums as Tension, Now Jazz Ramwong and Never Let It End. He was an active participant in the Norddeutscher Rundfunk big bands for decades as well as a late addition to the Globe Unity Orchestra. From the '70s to the present, Mangelsdorff recorded numerous albums, including several for solo trombone. He was a co-leader of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble with Wolfgang Dauner. He has been honored numerous times for his accomplishments, most recently in 2003 when his 75th birthday was celebrated in the Royal Opera Hall in Frankfurt. He was Artistic Director for the Berlin Jazz Festival in '90s and a prestigious German jazz prize is named for him, given annually by the German Jazz Union.

In Germany jazz circles, just saying the name "Albert" is enough. Mangelsdorff was involved in every phase of German - and European - from the rise of the big bands to the development of original small groups sounds and the rise of avant garde and free music. His influence on any progressive trombone player cannot be understated and he and Paul Rutherford are almost completely responsible for the ascent of the trombone as a solo instrument. He has been called the #1 trombonist in the world, an appellation he in his modesty eschews. However, with his passing, Europe loses a pioneer and jazz loses an irreplaceable voice." - Andre Henkin from All About Jazz

For more information on Albert Mangelsdorff:

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