on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2022 21 Jun

„A friendly looking piano in the wild seventies“

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Tags: , , Comments off

Werner Panke was a jazz critic, a regular at the old Dortmund „Domicil“. In my memory, the seventies purr a little together when thinking about the constant rush of ECM highlights. In that decade every album of the pianist was a „must-buy“ for me, and so before his trip to Japan anno 1976, these albums were all there, in my room, in my heart:  „Facing You“, „Bremen/Lausanne“ (this one probably re-appear in autumn, in the „Luminessence“ series), „Cologne Concert“,  and „Staircase“. To these works I still (and without any inner „ranking“)  return, with careless enthusiasm, and a dancing vibe (shoulder to shoulder with my bloody young ego). Steve Tibbetts once told me the following story about a special day of Mr. Jarrett and his producer in Japan:






„On that Japanese tour I saw a sun bear in the zoo, a small bear which really looked friendly and doesn’t exist anywhere outside Japan. The next day I asked our Japanese sound engineer about this animal because I remembered its face, a really friendly small face, and he replied, ‚Yes, it’s a beautiful bear but if you get near enough to him he will knock you three blocks down the road‘. I simply liked the idea of an animal that looks as if it would be nice to get near to and which, when you do so, shakes your whole conception of life.“ (I’m not quite sure if Jarrett was aware of the wonderfully black humor of the last sentence. Or whether he was, perhaps, thinking more of the particular „animals“ we encounter in Castaneda’s books).

P.S.  As with me, Steve Tibbetts‘ first, let’s say, 300 records from ECM, landed almost completely on his turntable in those „golden years“. Steve then released most of his own work on the Munich label, starting in 1982. „Life of“ was my album of the year in 2018. 2022 saw the release of a wonderful showcase of his work, „Hellbound Train“.

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