Label: NAGEL HEYER 021Artists: Oscar Klein, trumpet, clarinet, guitar; Werner Keller, clarinet; Willy Meerwald, trombone, vocals; Engelbert Wrobel, tenor sax, clarinet; Romano Mussolini, piano; Lino Patruno, guitar; Bob van Oven, bass; Charly Antolini, drums
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Tracks: Lady Be Good (Gershwin); Moonglow (Hudson); If I Had You (Shapiro); Honeysuckle Rose (Waller); Creole Love Call (Ellington/Miley); Out Of Nowhere (Green); All Of Me (Marks); Oscar’s Blues (Klein); Mack The Knife (Weill); Impromptu Ensemble (Klein)
Recorded live on January 6, 1995 at Amerika Haus, Hamburg.
The Oscar Klein's Anniversary Band seeks and finds the essence of outstanding and striking mainstream jazz, rather than slavishly following transcriptions of old arrangements. The tunes may be familiar (All Of Me; Creole Love Call; Lady Be Good; Mack The Knife et al.), but the performances are fresh and affectionate and always swinging. The pacing of the album, and the variety offered by feature tunes is exemplary. This kind of timeless jazz is almost invisible on ‘The Scene’, ignored by the press and major record labels; shops don’t stock it, and the very few radio outlets that play jazz don’t find it “hip” enough for the 18-35 Diva-loving demographic they lust after. It seems the only people who like it are those who listen to it. The Band is a who is who of the European jazz scene brought together by trumpeter Oscar Klein for his 65 birthday party celebrated live on stage. From the Fatty George Band came Willy Meerwald, equally comfortable on trombone and vocals; from the Dutch Swing College Band the masterful Bob van Oven on bass; Werner Keller, clarinet, is the bandleader of the Tremble Kids from Switzerland; and the Italian pianist Romano Mussolini, whose range and competence runs from Jelly Roll through Bud to Evans, gained also some respect in and out Europe. The rest of the all-star band (guitarist Lino Patruno, Engelbert Wrobel on tenor sax and clarinet with the powerful Charly Antolini on drums) serves the music well, too.