Monday, 2 April 2018

Theo Schumann in 1981, East Germany

It's hard to follow up last weekend's post I know, but it's our obligation to keep on truckin' here.  So let's move from West Germany to East for a peek at some novichok music.  From discogs:

German pianist, saxophonist and band leader, born 24 July 1928, died 21 July 1990. [At age 62!]
Leader of Theo Schumann Combo.

From wikipedia translates:

His father Otto Schumann was master tailor, he coined the musical development of his son Theodor. He made sure that Schumann practiced daily for six to seven hours. After completing his 8th grade, he applied to the Dresden Conservatory , where he completed his studies in clarinet and piano. After the war he played in various dance music orchestras. In 1956 he founded his first jazz quintet.

After studying classical music at the Carl Maria von Weber Dresden University of Music (subjects: conducting, composition, piano and clarinet ), Schumann founded the Theo Schumann Jazz Formation in 1957. From 1958, he was the bandleader of several jazz bands and composed numerous pieces.  The Theo Schumann Jazz Formation formation played in the Dresdner Parkhotel , for example , where jazz concerts were held every Monday. He was well known in the jazz scene and also gave guest performances in West Berlin . He brought out two records.

Theo Schumann: Hammond organ, electric piano, piano, ladder; Jochen Kittan: Bass; Frank-Endrik Moll: Drums, Percussion; Konrad Körner : tenor saxophone, flute; Hubert Katzenbeier : Electric violin, trombone

Theo Schumann Combo 
From 1961 to the mid-1970s, Schumann directed the Theo Schumann Combo , which played both self-composed pieces - mostly instrumental dance music - as well as cover versions of Western pieces of music (such as Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones ).

With Theo Schumann Combo Schumann turned to commercial pop music. Within the GDR he gained great popularity, his hits were often played on the radio.

So you can see he was already a ripe 53 when he made this one, and unlike what I said about Thollot, the maturity shines through splendidly throughout.  Here, for example, the gorgeous goodness of Grünes Gewölbe:

Smoothly perfect, perfectly smooth fusionary visions, with Kiril Wlatschkow on trumpet.  Channeling my old college favourite Freddie Hubbard, perhaps.

On this record, Honolulu comes across as a Miles Davis So What jam, oddly enough (unlike the atmospherically expressive version of Jukka Linkola):

But I like that he strays outside the conventional series of chords.  Even more surprising, and perhaps typically European, is how the subsequent track called "Honky-Tonky" is completely unlike the musical style of the title save for some bluesy moves from the flute soloist, being quite post-modernly deconstructed.

Altogether a fabulous slice of oblivion and I'm looking forward to more from this fantastic composer.



  2. Hi ,Thanks
    please this if possible

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Searched the computer and found a Theo Schumann Formation track called 'Grotte' from 'Tanz In Theo's Beat-Bar' (1976) :