JJ 03/83: Albert Mangelsdorff – Solo

Forty years ago, Barry McRae noted the German trombonist did not need a rhythm section and saw him as one of the finest players in the world. First published in JJ March 1983


This entertaining, highly creative and warmly emotional record reminds us that Mangelsdorff is a potent force in European jazz. All of his trademarks are displayed, the growling ‘voice-over’, the unexpect­ed intervallic leaps, the punchy staccato shouts and the deliciously bucolic glissandi.

He may not be the innovator that is sometimes con­tended but his solos on Responsory, Nexus and Bone Blue transcend the European school and mark him out as one of the finest jazz trombonists in the world.

He wrote every theme here and, although some are little more than theme statements, all confirm that he has a good melodic imagination. A rhythm section is not missed and, in fact, Mangelsdorff shows an audacious rhythmic sense, dragging at the pulse like a saxophonist in parts of Rooty Toot and on Brighton, or punching out like a trumpeter as on Dreiviertel.

The quality of sound is well up to the highest MPS standards, and this record could easily appeal to the hard bop fans who remember the German as a J J Johnson man, back in the middle fifties.

Sit And Think; Responsory; Für G K; Föhnhammer; Nexus; Der Alte Dreiviertel; Lost And Found (20) – Rooty Toot; Brief Impression Of Brighton; What Did The Bird Say?; Bone Blue; J C Was Here; Give Me Some Skin (19.45)
Albert Mangelsdorff (tb). Oberursel 23.2.82.
(MPS 15556)