2009: Albert Mangelsdorff – Tension

programmheftDuring the 11th Darmstadt Jazzforum, a conference dealt with Albert Mangelsdorff, his music, his influence on German jazz history and his role as an integrational figure for German and European jazz. The papers given at the three day conference (Oct 1-3, 2009) not only delved into Mangelsdorff himself, though, but also with German jazz history, with instrumental techniques, with free jazz, with the Frankfurt jazz scene, with the fusion of jazz and rock, with musical communication in an improvised music, with a growing self confidence of European jazz musicians in recent years and with the aesthetic problems and chances of jazz today. The Jazzforum, thus, tried to not just look back but approach the world of today’s jazz as well, which was so strongly influenced by Mangelsdorff’s lifelong musical efforts. The golden thread is perhaps the musical candor, which always shaped Albert Mangelsdorffs aesthetic credo.

The Darmstadt Jazzforum consists of five program parts: (1) an international three day conference, (2) a concert series over more than one week, (3) an exhibition, (4) an evening of rare film footage, and (5) a book documentation of the Jazzforum to be published next year.

The conference from vom 1. to 3. October 2009 will gather musicologists, historians, journalists and scholars from other fields as well as musicians. This year’s speakers include: the musicologist William Bares (Cambridge, USA, Harvard University) talking about the growing assertiveness of European jazz and problems arising from it; the sociologist Silvana Figueroa-Dreher about social order in free jazz improvisation; the art historian René Grohnert (Essen) about poster art in jazz and the graphic designer Günter Kieser; the Journalist Harald Justin (Wien) talking about biographies and autobiographies of jazz musicians (and especially looking at Bruno Paulot’s Albert Mangelsdorff biography); the musicologist Harald Kisiedu (New York, Columbia University) reflecting upon music and politics in the work of Peter Brötzmann; the musicologist Wolfram Knauer (Darmstadt) talking about how German musicians dealt with their national folkloric traditions; the musicologist Kai Lothwesen (Frankfurt) reflecting upon the diversity of today’s European jazz; the musicologist Martin Pfleiderer (Weimar) about vocal expressiveness in instrumental jazz; the journalist Michael Rieth talking about jazz criticism; the historian Rüdiger Ritter (Berlin) with a paper about the Polish pianist Krzysztof Komeda; the journalist Michael Rüsenberg (Köln) explaining “The Making Of” of a lengthy Albert Mangelsdorff film documentary; the journalist, musicologist and lkong-time friend of Mangelsdorff Wolfgang Sandner (Frankfurt) giving a keynopte speech about the trombonist; the musicologist Jürgen Schwab (Hanau) reflecting about the Jazzensemble des Hessischen Rundfunks; and the trombonist Nils Wogram (Zürich) showing trombone techniques and talking about Albert’s influence on trombonists.

The concert series will feature the alto saxophonist Emil Mangelsdorff, Albert’s older brother, in concert with his quartet and in conversation (Sep. 25, 2009); the duo of vibraphonist Wolfgang Schlüter and pianist Boris Netsvetaev in another concert plus conversation event (Sep. 30, 2009); the American trombonist Roswell Rudd in a duo with the pianist Lafayette Harris (Oct. 2, 2009); the German guitar duo of Joe Sachse and Uwe Kropinski; as well as a trio by trombonist Nils Wogram, organist Florian Ross and drummer Dejan Terzic (Oct. 3, 2009).

The concert series lasted from September 25th to October 3rd, 2009; the conference itself took place from October 1st through 3rd, 2009. Participation in the conference was free; concerts and workshop a reasonable admission price was charged.