Albert Mangelsdorff

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Albert Mangelsdorff

Albert Mangelsdorff (* 5. September 1928 in Frankfurt am Main ; † 25. July 2005 ) was a German jazz - trombone . He gave the trombone playing in jazz with his polyphony - the " multiphonics " - new aspects and is considered an innovative and important representative of his instrument in jazz.


Albert Mangelsdorff was born the son of a Frankfurt bookbinder. Through his older brother Emil Mangelsdorff he got in contact with jazz. He visited the Frankfurt Hot Club, where jazz, which was forbidden by the National Socialists , was secretly played, and learned the violin , harmony and general music theory from his uncle in Pforzheim . In addition, he taught himself to play the guitar. His career as a professional musician began in post-war Germany in 1947 as a rhythm guitarist in the Otto Laufner Big Band, with whom he mainly played in the clubs of the US Army. From 1947 he took trombone lessons from Fritz Stähr, the solo trombonist at the Frankfurt Opera .


Mangelsdorff played guitar and trombone until he finally decided on the trombone in his mid-twenties. In 1953 he joined the Hans-Koller- Band and in 1955, for financial reasons, he switched to the radio dance orchestra of the Hessischer Rundfunk for two years . On December 2, 1955, a large jazz concert with Mangelsdorff took place in the Heidelberg town hall, organized by Fritz Rau , who later became the concert organizer of the German Jazz Federation . A special event for Mangelsdorff was the first appearance after the war in Poland: he gave a concert with the Frankfurt All Stars in 1957 as part of the International Festival in Sopot , which was followed by a concert tour through Poland. These concerts were organized by Werner Wunderlich , who had been on friendly terms with Poland since his time as a Polish prisoner of war. In the same year Mangelsdorff took over the musical direction of from the Frankfurt All Stars emerged hr jazz ensembles ; With this group he made monthly recordings for radio until 2005. An invitation to the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 with the International Youth Band of Marshall Brown then gave a major boost in its development. The conversations with the leading jazz musicians of the world encouraged his decision to develop his own voice, a personal sound . In 1965, 1967 and 1969 he was invited again to the Newport Jazz Festival. Soon he was recognized internationally.


The Albert Mangelsdorff Quintet, newly formed in 1961 with Günter Kronberg (as, brs), Heinz Sauer (ts, ss), Günter Lenz (b) and Ralf Hübner (dr) tried to emancipate European jazz music from the then dominant US jazz. Examples include the recordings Tension (1963) and Now Jazz Ramwong (1964). The latter record was the first German recording of ethno-jazz on a modal basis and was made after a tour of Asia on behalf of the Goethe Institute . The quintet had a decisive influence on the development of the jazz scene in Germany; it also toured the US and continued with that lineup until 1969.

Although he increasingly developed his own way of expression, he played now and then with large German radio jazz orchestras. The modal style of playing continued to influence his compositions and improvisations during this time. Mangelsdorff was under the influence of cool jazz at the beginning of his career , but in the late 1960s he turned more and more to free jazz . This phase included the collaboration with the Globe Unity Orchestra and Peter Brötzmann as well as the downsizing of Mangelsdorff's band in 1969, which now continued to work as a quartet. During this time Mangelsdorff developed the polyphonic game by experimenting with new playing and sound possibilities.


Mangelsdorff with the United Jazz + Rock Ensemble (2002)

During a jazz festival on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Munich , Mangelsdorff first appeared in public for an entire concert as an unaccompanied soloist in 1972. He then played his first solo record Trombirds ; the first solo recording for a brass instrument in jazz. Mangelsdorff gave many jazz musicians the prospect of exploring their creativity in solo projects and records. In addition to tours as a solo trombonist, Mangelsdorff has given concerts with a quintet, but since 1974 only in a quartet or trio, which used Buschi Niebergall (bass) and Peter Giger (drums, percussion) as a rhythm section. However, there is only one record from the early days of this group (with saxophonists Heinz Sauer and Gerd Dudek ; Birds of Underground , 1973). Mangelsdorff instead documented numerous projects (produced by Joachim-Ernst Berendt ), including a. with Elvin Jones , Eddie Gomez , Palle Danielsson , Jaco Pastorius , Alphonse Mouzon or with the trio Barre Phillips , John Surman and Stu Martin . During this decade, he and Max Schautzer organized a regular jazz program on what was then Deutschlandfunk . In 1975 Mangelsdorff was a founding member of the United Jazz + Rock Ensemble , to which he remained loyal until its dissolution at the end of 2002. On the occasion of the concert evening for Mangelsdorff's 75th birthday in the Frankfurt Alte Oper (2003), this ensemble came together again. From 1976 to 1982 Mangelsdorff took over the lessons in improvisation and style of jazz to Dr. Hoch's Conservatory . At the end of the 1970s, Mangelsdorff took part in a Trombone Summit with trombonists Bill Watrous , Kai Winding and Jiggs Whigham , which made a record in 1980 for the German label MPS.

1980 to 2005

Albert Mangelsdorff (Münster 1987)
Albert Mangelsdorff in a solo concert (Magdeburg July 10, 1992)

In the 1980s and 1990s Mangelsdorff appeared mainly in solo, duo and trio. Since 1981 he has recorded duo albums with the pianist Wolfgang Dauner . He also gave concerts with the duo Eric Watson and John Lindberg . Sometimes the trio expanded to a quartet with Ed Thigpen . He also played with musicians from the Klaus Lage Band, but also with Peter Giger's Family of Percussion .

For six years from 1995 he was artistic director of the JazzFest Berlin . In the 1990s he had a quartet with Reto Weber , Bruno Spoerri and Ernst Reijseger (or Christy Doran ). He later performed with the Reto Weber Percussion Ensemble and Chico Freeman , as well as his own conventional quintet, which included Wolfgang Dauner, Wolfgang Haffner, Dieter Ilg and Christof Lauer . Recently Mangelsdorff often worked with the NDR big band . From 1982 to 2004 he was a duo with the pianist and keyboardist Wolfgang Dauner. There was also a trio with Eberhard Weber and Reto Weber, sometimes as a quartet with Chico Freeman.

On the morning of July 25, 2005, Mangelsdorff died at the age of 76 in his hometown of Frankfurt am Main from the effects of leukemia . He left behind his wife Ilo and his son Ralph, who also works as a musician (singer) and holds a doctorate in biology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt Main. Mangelsdorff's grave is located in Frankfurt's main cemetery .


Mangelsdorff is regarded as an important innovator of jazz trombone playing and as the first jazz musician who was able to give full-length solo concerts on a wind instrument. No one before him mastered the principle of inside-outside improvisation in solo improvisation on the trombone as well as he did. Above all, he cultivated the polyphonic playing of the trombone and made this style of playing known again. However, the technology was secondary to him. For him, perfect mastery of the instrument was only a necessary prerequisite for spontaneous improvisation . It was his habit to practice several hours a day. Mangelsdorff also had a special affinity for bird song and, as a hobby ornithologist , was able to differentiate between many types of birds. The song of the birds was a sound ideal for him and a constant model for his music. In this he resembles musicians like Olivier Messiaen , who compared the birdsong in the early morning with the last voice of paradise .

In the jazz critic poll of the American jazz magazine Down Beat in 1980, Mangelsdorff was voted best jazz trombonist. But despite his many awards and honors, Mangelsdorff always remained a cautiously reserved, personable personality. In 1993 he was appointed honorary professor for jazz at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt . During his career he made more than 100 records and CDs. Mangelsdorff was one of the first German jazz musicians who could live exclusively from jazz.

Multi-part playing style

His technique of playing several voices by blowing a note and singing into the mouthpiece at the same time was unmistakable . The formation of the difference between differently played and sung notes creates overtones ( multiphonics ) that are so audible that chords can sound. During the 1970s no other jazz musician mastered this art as virtuously as Mangelsdorff; comparable to Vinko Globokar in New Music . This particular technique was originally developed by horn players in the 19th century. Mangelsdorff rediscovered them (his teacher Fritz Stähr, who also mastered this technique, had drawn his attention to it) and propagated them by using them regularly in his solos and also in presenting topics. Today, good jazz brass players have mastered this style of playing by default.

Significance for the European jazz scene

After the Second World War , Mangelsdorff played a decisive role in the rebuilding of the jazz scene in Germany and in the emancipation of European jazz from the American model that dominated music and improvisation until around 1965. In contrast, his style and tonal language are considered independent.

With French jazz musicians, especially Jean-François Jenny-Clark , Mangelsdorff directed the Franco-German jazz ensemble from 1981 until his death , which gave young musicians from Germany and France the opportunity to play together. In his honor, the Union of German Jazz Musicians and the GEMA Foundation have been awarding the German Jazz Prize, which bears the title Albert Mangelsdorff Prize , since 1994 .


Albert Mangelsdorff grave in the Frankfurt main cemetery

The city ​​of Frankfurt am Main has taken over the artistic estate of the deceased musician. There are six boxes with sheet music, around 1,500 sound carriers and instruments, as well as files with the correspondence. According to dpa reports, plans are being made to use this as the basis for a jazz archive named after the city's great son.

Discography (selection)

  • David Amram - Albert Mangelsdorff Group, Azetate 1954, David Amram french horn, Albert Mangelsdorff trombone, Attila Zoller guitar (3,5) piano (4), Harry Schell bass, Karl Sanner drums.
  • Jutta Hipp Arthaus-Jazzhaus 1952/1955, Jutta Hipp, Albert Mangelsdorff, Attila Zoller, Hans Koller, Harry Schell, Joki Freund, Karl Sanner, Rudi Sehring.
  • Mainhattan Modern (recordings 1955-63)
  • Albert Mangelsdorff & Attila Zoller : Jazz Salon Dortmund 1957 ; Metronome MEP 1136; Attila Zoller (g), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb). 1957
  • Albert Mangelsdorff and his Frankfurt All Stars feat. Hans Koller: Rhein-Main-Jump ; Jazztone J1246; Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Hans Koller (ts), Joki Freund (ts), Karl Blume (bs), Pepsi Auer (p), Peter Trunk (b), Rudi Sehring (dr), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb). 1958
  • Albert Mangelsdorff-Jazztett: A Ball With Al ; Philips 760001PV (EP); Dusko Goykovich (tp), Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Joki Freund (ts), Pepsi Auer (p), Peter Trunk (b), Rudi Sehring (dr), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb). 1958
  • Albert Mangelsdorff and the Hessischer Rundfunk jazz ensemble: The Opa Hirchleitner story ; Brunswick EPB10815 (EP); Dusko Goykovich (tp), Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Joki Freund (ts), Pepsi Auer (p), Peter Trunk (b), Rudi Sehring (dr), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb, gt). 1958
  • Albert Mangelsdorff-Jazztett: Modern Jazz ; Neckermann 944/13 (EP); Dusko Goykovich (tp), Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Joki Freund (ts), Pepsi Auer (p), Peter Trunk (b), Rudi Sehring (dr), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb, gt). 1958
  • John Lewis feat. Albert Mangelsdorff & The Zagreb Jazz Quartet : Animal Dance ; Atlantic SD1402 (CD: Atlantic Records AMCY 1100); Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), John Lewis (p), Karl Theodor Geier (b), Silvije Glojnarić (dr). 1962
  • Albert Mangelsdorff Quintet: Tension ; CBS 62336, L + R LR41001; CD: CDLR71002; Günther Kronberg (as, brs), Heinz Sauer (ts), Günter Lenz (b), Ralf Hübner (dr), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb). 1963
  • Albert Mangelsdorff Quintet: Now Jazz Ramwong ; CBS 62398 L + R LR41007; CD: CDLR 71001; Günther Kronberg (as, brs), Heinz Sauer (ts, ss), Günter Lenz (b), Ralf Hübner (dr), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb). 1964
  • Jazz ensemble of the Hessischer Rundfunk: Atmospheric Conditions Permitting ; ECM 517 354-2. 1967-1993
  • Albert Mangelsdorff Quintet: Folk Moon & Flower Dream ; CBS 63162; Günther Kronberg (as), Heinz Sauer (ts, ss), Günter Lenz (b), Ralf Hübner (dr), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb). 1967
  • Attila Zoller / Lee Konitz / Albert Mangelsdorff): Zo-Ko-Ma with Barre Phillips (b), Stu Martin (dr). MPS 15 170. 1967
  • The German All Stars: The German All Stars - Live At The Domicile Munich ; CBS S66217; Albert Mangelsdorff (leader, tb), Ack van Rooyen (tp), Manfred Schoof (tp), Rudi Fuesers (tb), Rolf Kühn (cl), Emil Mangelsdorff (as, fl), Gerd Dudek (ts), Heinz Sauer ( ts), Willi Johanns (voc), Wolfgang Dauner (p), Günter Lenz (b), Ralf Hübner (dr). 1968
  • Albert Mangelsdorff and the Hessischer Rundfunk jazz ensemble: Wild Goose ; MPS 15229; Emil Mangelsdorff (as, fl), Heinz Sauer (ts, as), Joki Freund (ts, ss, arr) Günter Kronberg (as, brs), Günter Lenz (b), Ralf Hübner (dr, darbouka, tamb), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Colin Wilkie (vcl, g), Shirley Hart (vcl). 1969
  • Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends: Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends ; MPS 15210, 68068; Duo recordings with Don Cherry , Lee Konitz, Elvin Jones , Karl Berger , Wolfgang Dauner , Attila Zoller. 1967-1969
  • Albert Mangelsdorff - John Surman: Room 1220 ; Konnex Records KCD 5037; Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (b), Daniel Humair (dr), Eddie Louis (org), John Surman (bs), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb). 1970
  • Albert Mangelsdorff Quartet: Never Let It End , MPS; Heinz Sauer (ts, as), Günter Lenz (b), Ralf Hübner (dr), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb). 1970
  • Albert Mangelsdorff Quartet: Diggin '- Live AT Dug, Tokyo ; Three Blind Mice TBM5; Cast as Let It Never End . 1971
  • Mangelsdorff - Whigham - Persson - Hampton: Trombone Workshop ; MPS; Jiggs Whigham (tb), Ake Persson (tb), Slide Hampton (tb), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), George Gruntz (p), Isla Eckinger (b), Tony Inzalaco (dr). 1971
  • Elements ; FMP ; with Peter Brötzmann , Fred Van Hove , Han Bennink . 1971
  • Swiss Radio Jazz live Vol. 3 European Trends ; with Karl Berger, Karin Krog , Albert Mangelsdorff, Zbigniew Seifert , Francois Janneau, Enrico Rava . 1972
  • Volker Kriegel : Inside: Missing Link with: Volker Kriegel (eg, ag, sitar), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Alan Skidmore (ss, ts), Heinz Sauer (ts), John Taylor (ep), Eberhard Weber (b) , Cees See (fl, perc, v, effects), John Marshall (dr), Peter Baumeister (dr), supervised by Albert Mangelsdorff & Dieter von Goetze . MPS 15 362. 1972
  • Trombirds ; MPS; (solo). 1972
  • Birds Of Underground ; (Quintet with Buschi Niebergall, Peter Giger, Heinz Sauer, Gerd Dudek) MPS; 1973
  • The wide point ; MPS (with Palle Danielsson (b) and Elvin Jones (dr)). 1974
  • Tromboneliness ; MPS (solo). 1976
  • Trilogue, Live at the Berlin Jazz Days ; MPS 0068.175, with Jaco Pastorius (b) and Alphonse Mouzon (d). 1976
  • MUMPS: A Matter of Taste ; MPS (Albert Mangelsdorff (tb, g, vcl), John Surman (bs, bcl, ss, p, synth), Barre Phillips (b, vcl), Stu Martin (dr, synth)). 1977
  • A Jazz Tune I Hope with Wolfgang Dauner (p), Eddie Gomez (b), Elvin Jobes (dr), produced by Joachim Ernst Berendt. MPS 15 528. 1979
  • Triplicity ; SKIP (with Arild Andersen (b) and Pierre Favre (dr)). 1979
  • Albert Live in Montreux ; MPS (with Jean-François Jenny-Clark (b), Ronald Shannon Jackson (dr)) 1980
  • Albert Mangelsdorff Solo ; MPS. 1982
  • Two Is Company ; Mood (with Wolfgang Dauner). 1982
  • Art of the Duo ; Enja; (with Lee Konitz). 1983
  • Andrea Centazzo Central Europe Orchestra Doctor Faustus ; Ictus with Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Enrico Rava (tp), Gianluigi Trovesi (as, bcl), Theo Jörgensmann (cl) Franz Koglmann (tp), u. a. 1980-1983
  • Hot hat ; EMI (with Dauner (p), Anders Jormin (b), Elvin Jones (dr)). 1985
  • Moon at noon ; EMI (with Dauner & Family of Percussion). 1987
  • Art of the Duo ; enja (with Lee Konitz). 1988
  • Purity ; Mood (solo). 1990
  • Albert Mangelsdorff & Members of Klaus Lage Band Rooty Toot . March 1990
  • Albert Mangelsdorff, Eric Watson, John Lindberg Dodging Bullets ; Black Saint. 1992
  • Mangelsdorff / John Lindberg / Ed Thipgen / Eric Watson Quartet: Afterstorm ; Black Saint. 1993
  • Albert Mangelsdorff & Reto Weber Percussion Orchestra: Live at Montreux ; double moon ; (with the percussionists R. Weber, Nana Twum Nketia, Keyvan Chemirani ). 1994
  • Mangelsdorff / Wolfgang Dauner quintet: Hats off! 1997
  • Shake, Shuttle and Blow ; Enja (with Bruno Spoerri, Reto Weber, Christy Doran). 1999
  • United Jazz + Rock Ensemble… Plays Albert Mangelsdorff ; Mood. 1999
  • Old friends ; Act (with Klaus Doldinger , Schoof, Dauner, Eberhard Weber and Wolfgang Haffner ). 2000
  • Music for Jazz Orchestra ; SKIP (with the NDR Big Band). 2003
  • Albert Mangelsdorff, Alois Kottmann Meeting Collegium Instrumentale Alois Kottmann . Melisma 7239-2, Oestrich-Winkel.
  • Jazz ensemble of the Hessischer Rundfunk: Perpetual Questions ; hrmj 1996-2004
  • "OH HORN" Albert Mangelsdorff trombone - film by Lucie Herrmann 1982 (DVD 2015)


  • Albert Mangelsdorff (1965): Instructions for improvisation for trombone. Mainz: Schott, 27 p., Sheet music examples
  • Albert Mangelsdorff (1990): Frankfurt am Main: Jazz music and green sauce . With 35 photos by Erhard Pansegrau. Freiburg i. Br .: Eulen-Verlag, 48 pp., 35 Ill., ISBN 3-89102-218-2
  • Albert Mangelsdorff / Bruno Paulot (1993): Conversations . Waakirchen: Oreos-Verlag, 288 pages, ISBN 3-923657-42-0


Films / radio

  • The trombone of jazz (2005) by Thorsten Jeß
  • The Albert Mangelsdorff role , WDR , 4.5 hours. Directors: Michael Rüsenberg and Christian Wagner. First broadcast: September 3, 2000 at Rockpalast Night
  • Oh horn! Albert Mangelsdorff - trombone by Lucie Herrmann, 1980/81, 58 min. (Production: Lucie Herrmann)
  • 5 years ago: Death of trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff . "Zeitzeichen". Broadcast by WDR radio (various broadcast dates), duration: 15 min. Summary of the article (with further links)

Literature about Mangelsdorff

Web links

Commons : Albert Mangelsdorff  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Obituaries :

Individual evidence

  1. There is only one recording of the quartet on one double LP City Jazz: Frankfurt Main Streams (Telefunken 6.28341).
  2. Albert Mangelsdorff's grave
  3. Culture news on Deutschlandradio Kultur on February 11, 2009
  4. Albert Mangelsdorff Foyer
  5. Albert Mangelsdorff Weiher
  6. Film review (47th Nordic Film Days Lübeck)
  7. therein Critique of Purity , Albert Mangelsdorff Solo.
  8. therein portrait of Albert Mangelsdorff.