Kriegel, Volker: Lost Tapes: Mainz 1963-1969
German jazz/fusion guitarist Volker Kriegel is perhaps one of Europe's most famous jazz guitar players and for good reason. The self-taught guitarist began his career in music in the early '60s, leaving his studies of sociology behind to focus more on his music. After honing inspiration from many others including guitarists Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall he soon found his own style. In 1968 he started his collaborations with American vibraphonist Dave Pike (soon to be known as The Dave Pike Set) and ventured further into jazz fusion sounds. In 1974 Kriegel formed The United Jazz and Rock Ensemble which took his sounds into a more rock direction.
The first eight tracks on CD 1 were recorded in 1963 and has Kriegel delving into some classic jazz standards for his inspiration. At just nineteen years of age at the time, his sound is still developing but his talent and creativity is already readily apparent. It features Kriegel (guitar), Helmut Kampe (bass) and Dieter Matschob (drums). The opening track "Django", originally penned by John Lewis, starts slow but builds momentum with Kriegel's fast little leads amidst the rhythm sections deliberately slow pace. The star of this show is Kriegel's guitar and he is given plenty of space to work his magic. In "Tabu" a crashing cymbal punctuates the arrangement which emphasizes crisp and clear guitar work having a distinct flamenco flavour. In the bluesy "Israel" Kriegel's lovely phrasing and melodic chord structures combine with fast little fills as the trio picks up the tempo. The last half of the disc was recorded in 1967 and is now a four piece; Kriegel (guitar), Claudio Szenkar (vibraphone, conga), Dieter von Goetze (bass) and Peter Baumeister (drums) and is highlighted by the delightful Calypso inflected "Tea And Rum" featuring vibraphone and stellar acoustic guitar from Kriegel.
The first two tracks on the second disc, "Vian-De" and "Traffic Jam" show Kriegel's music was more than just a showpiece for his guitar playing. "Vian-De" has a dreamy vibe due to Szenkar's vibraphone dominating the piece and "Traffic Jam" is a very rhythmic offering with plenty of solos (flute, piano, guitar) and fantastic drumming by Ralf Hübner. While over half the songs are Kriegel originals' a couple of covers really stand out; The Beatles "Norwegian Wood" and Zappa's "Mother People" with both tunes taking Kriegel's guitar to another level.
Lost Tapes is a must have for jazz and guitar aficionados. If you thought Kriegel's stature in the world of jazz was in question before, just listen to these two CDs and get a real taste of what his music was all about. Lovingly pulled from the vaults by Jazzhaus.
4. Saint Louis-Blues
6. Les Enfants S'ennuient le Dimanche
7. Autumn Leaves
8. Three Seconds
9. Tea And Rum
11. Don't Wait
12. Na Na Imboro
14. Connie's Blues
2. Traffic Jam
3. Little Pear
4. Norwegian Wood
5. Five By Four
6. Royal Harp
7. Cry It Out
8. Soul Eggs
9. Noisy Silence, Gentle Noise
10. Somewhat, Somewhere, Somehow
11. Sitting On My Knees
12. Slums On Wheels
13. I'm On My Way
15. Mother People
Added: February 4th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: label's Official Site
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