The four greats of German jazz—Conrad Bauer, Ulrich Gumpert, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, and Günter Sommer—have always had an eye on German Volksmusik. On their new CD (the fourth Zentralquartett CD on Intakt Records), the quartet makes no secret of its origin, arranges German Volkslieder, and plays them as if they had been written today rather than in the Middle Ages.
The most well-known songs on this recording are "Dat du min Leevsten büst," which the stormy leadership of Ulrich Gumpert's piano turns into gospel, and "Es war ein König in Thule," sung by Gretchen in Goethe's Faust, arranged by Carl Friedrich Zelter in the nineteenth century, and here re-arranged by Conrad Bauer as an exciting dialogue between trombone and Jew's harp at the end of the CD.
The CD also includes such marvelous rarities as "Es saß ein schneeweiß Vögelein" (which was once arranged by Johannes Brahms), "Der Maie, der Maie," a round dance from around 1550 with words by none other than Hans Sachs himself, and a bold peasant dance from the depths of the sixteenth century, "Tanz mir nicht mit meiner Jungfer Käthen."
Here "horses neigh; dancing women laugh; lovers pine; soldiers drum," as the novelist and poet Michael Wüstefeld writes in the liner notes.
released January 30, 2007
Conrad Bauer: Trombone
Ulrich Gumpert: Piano
Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky: Alto Saxophone, Flutes, Clarinet
Günter Sommer: Drums, Percussion, Mouth Harp