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Albert Mangelsdorff & Reto Weber Percussion Orchestra – Live At Montreux (1994)

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A Darker Shade Of Blue

Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival (Miles Davis Hall)
1994 July 11th on Voyager III.
Mastered at Soundville Studios Luzern

Trombone – Albert Mangelsdorff 
Percussion [African] – Nana Twum Nketia 
Percussion – Reto Weber 
Goblet Drum [Zarb] – Keyvan Chemirani


Recorded live at the 1994 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and released by Challenge in 2000, this excellent performance unites trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff with drummer Reto Weber’s Percussion Orchestra. Live At Montreux is an example of multiculturalism at its finest — you have jazz musicians from Germany (Mangelsdorff), and Switzerland (Weber), joining forces with a percussionist from Ghana (Nana Twum Nketia), and a zarb player from Iran (Keyvan Chemirani), at a Swiss jazz festival — and the label that released this CD is based in Holland. Mangelsdorff was 65 when Live At Montreux was recorded, and it’s clear that the German improviser wasn’t shying away from challenges in his old age. The music that Mangelsdorff, Weber and their allies provide is an intriguing, abstract blend of world music and avant-garde jazz. Mangelsdorff’s trombone is the only wind instrument, and when he isn’t blowing, all you hear are drums and percussion. Some will find the music too esoteric, but if you’re a truly adventurous listener, the rewards are abundant. Sadly, Nana Twum Nketia died several months after Live At Montreux was recorded.

(Alex Henderson – allmusic; 4/5)


On this recording the wellknown persussionist Reto Weber meets one of the most popular german jazz Musicians the trombone player Albert Mangelsdorf. They play together with Reto Webers Percussion Orchestra with African Percussion-player Nana Twum Nketia who died in 1994, and Zarb-player Keyvan Chemirani from Iran.
Since the beginning of the 80s this ensemble exists, and normaly they play together with Chico Freeman.
One of their best concerts was the one in Montreux in 1994 with Mangelsdorf which can be heard on this recording.
Without a doubt, Albert Mangelsdorf is a interantional wellknown trombone player. His creativity in playing the trombone, the spezial effects and so on were like a revolution in trombone playing. He is playing with the airstream, singing through the instrument and with this he creates interesting harmonics.
About 20 years ago Reto Weber founded the Percussion Orchestra. In thease days Nana Twum Nketia from Ghana was a member of the ensemble and also Djamchid Chemirani form Iran,who is the father of Keyvan Chemirani who can be heard on „Live in Montreaux “ .
During the 80s this ensemble was touring with many , very popular percussion players for example Dom Um Romao from Brazil, Zakir Hussain from India or Adama DramÈ from Burkina Faso. The idea to combine percussions with wind instruments is not new. In the middle of 70s, Reto Weber and Albert Mangelsorf were performing this in a duo.
The combination of the great playing of Mangelsdorf and this excelent Percussionists brings up a very interesting Music.
Mangelsdorf is using different mutes which make the trombone sound different, and beside his great soli he also uses his instrument to produce percussive sounds. The sound of the trombone and the sound of the different drums ar melting togetherer. Also Reto Weber is creating Melodies on steel drums and on some tracks this melodies are giving the ideas for Mangelsdorfs soli.
“Live At Montreux” with Albert Mangelsdorff and the Percussion Orchestra is a great recording which shows that people from different cultures and different musical backround are understanding each other. Jazz Meets World at its best!

(the JAZZLOFT, 2009)

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Uri Hornstein

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