Release code: ODI189378
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Release Info: Peter Herbolzheimer - Soul Puppets (Unreleased Jazz Funk Library 1970-75) 2010 (Sonorama)
Label : Sonorama
All recordings previously unreleased, produced between 1970 and 1975 by Fritz Maldener for Altaxon Publishing and Fred Christmann for Edition Panther, feat. Art Farmer, Dieter Reith, Herb Geller, Dusko Goykovich, Ack van Rooyen, Palle Mikkelborg, Siegfried Schwab. Tony Inzalaco, Philip Catherine, Peter Trunk, Heinz Kitschenberg, Günter Lenz, Jiggs Whigham, Rudi Fuesers, Horst Mühlbradt and Otto Bredl (detailled line-ups of all recordings remain unknown),sound restauration and remastering 2010 by Jury Lutz.
In the year 1969, composer, trombonist and arranger Peter Herbolzheimer founds his band "Rhythm Combination & Brass" (RC&B). The formation quickly develops into one of the world's most reputable big bands, whose style and arrangements are new in all respects. They play an unconventional combination of jazz funk, Latin music and rock, how one might expect it in the U.S. only. Herbolzheimer is the first to equip the rhythm and brass band with an equal strength, both quantitatively and qualitatively, with a selected group of half a dozen European countries and from overseas. The usual saxophone phrases disappear, while "brass" (trombone/ trumpet) and solo contributions of the woodwinds occur to the fore, plus electric bass, organ, and two additional percussionists.
Horst Mühlbradt is active for the band as an excellent pianist, composer and arranger. Other arrangers of the RC&B are Herbolzheimer and initially Dieter Reith, later also the unforgettable Dutch Jerry van Rooyen and Rob Pronk. Fans and critics are thrilled of the ensemble during the 70's and call it a "Powerhouse Band". Compared to Herbolzheimer`s project, other big bands sound old-fashioned, because his group produces a very explosive and unique sound. In contrast to their often ordinary radio and studio jobs, the musicians seem to "explode" within the RC&B, it's almost like they "play their souls out of their bodies" at the Herbolzheimer sessions. They deserve a reputation as a superb combination of top musicians at festivals and concerts, always offering the finest big band funk and jazz rock. Over the decade the RC&B writes music history with a total of nine albums, released in various countries on the Polydor and MPS labels.
A well-camouflaged side project of the RC&B is the source for the present recordings from the archives of music publishers Altaxon and Edition Panther. None of the productions has been officially released until today. For legal reasons all tracks are recorded under the name "Orchestra Peter Herbolzheimer" and can only be found on so-called "Library LPs" for promoting the music on radio and television. Like the sounds on Herbolzheimer`s official LPs from the same time, the musical key points are blues, gospel, soul, funk, Latin and rock. The sessions are to settle a similar level as the music on Herbolzheimers milestones "Soul Condor", "Wide Open" or "The Catfish". Titles such as "Latin Groove", "Soul Puppets" or "Tiger Walk" set the unequivocal direction: The band plays straight, mostly Latin-oriented big band soul and funk at the highest level and with phenomenal feeling. Real quality music played by a full jazz-rock group, which provides the driving rhythm as a base for piled up and cleverly arranged horns. In contrast to this boiling Powerplay, other tracks like "Orange Faces," "Windy Corner" or "Why Is The Sun Never Crying" have their quiet and lyrical moments aswell. Regarding the planned radio use, all musicians finally avoid the otherwise usual, extravagant solos to keep the tracks short.
The music is produced between 1970 and 1975 with changing formations, featuring many international jazz legends, of whom the majority is also active in the RC&B: Art Farmer, Dusko Goykovich, Ack van Rooyen and Palle Mikkelborg (all trumpet and flugelhorn), Herb Geller (saxophone and flute), Dieter Reith (piano, organ, electric piano), Siegfried Schwab, Philip Catherine and Heinz Kitschenberg (all guitar), Peter Trunk and Günter Lenz (bass), Peter Herbolzheimer, Jiggs Whigham, Rudi Fuesers and Otto Bredl (all trombone), Tony Inzalaco (drums & percussion) and Horst Mühlbradt (piano & percussion). Like often with "Library Music", all unreleased tracks include no detailled cast lists or recording data. The producers are Fred Christmann (Edition Panther, former trumpeter in the jazz ensemble of the „Hessischer Rundfunk“) and Fritz Maldener (Altaxon, aka "Maurice Pop" on the MPS label, also composer of some tracks). Thinking of these sessions today, Maldener only remembers the short solos by Siggi Schwab on "Windy Corner" or by Palle Mikkelborg on "Hot Spot".
Peter Herbolzheimer can increase his name recognition further these days, having appeared in TV shows such as "ZDF Jazz Club" or "Bio's Bahnhof". Here he plays with Sammy Davis Jr., Shirley Bassey and many other internationally renowned artists. In 1972 he receives the Federal Cross of Merit and a Gold Record for the composition of the music to the Munich Olympics opening with Dieter Reith and Jerry van Rooyen, while the RC&B is chosen as „Europe`s Big Band No. 1“ by the readers of the "Jazz Forum". In a co-production of the tv channel ZDF and concert promoter Karsten Jahnke, there are so-called "Jazz Gala" concerts in major German cities between 1976-1979 under the baton of Herbolzheimer. His All Star Big bands consist of jazz greats such as Johnny Griffin, Slide Hampton, Nat Adderly, Stan Getz, Clark Terry and Gerry Mulligan, who at that time were capable of filling large halls with their name alone.
At the early 80s and after completion of the jazz-rock chapter, the band is devoted to the swing and bebop idiom, and thus the conventional big band instrumentation. But even this does not sound sentimental and backward-looking, but modern and young. In 1987 Herbolzheimer then founds the „BuJazzO“ (Youth Jazz Orchestra of the Federal Republic of Germany) and also takes over its leadership. In those days, Mel Lewis asks for records of Herbolzheimer and Nancy Wilson expresses the wish that she would appear in her German concerts with the RC&B only. Even Clark Terry is delighted about his recording of the ballad-LP "Clark After Dark" because of some excellent arrangements by the "Fat Man". A „20 years of RC&B“-anniversary tour with Chaka Khan plus many tours and concerts with stars like Al Jarreau, Herbie Hancock or Eartha Kitt follow during the early 90s. In 1995 the band is on the road again for the big 25th anniversary tour together with Dianne Reeves.By Sonorama.