Attila Zoller

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Attila Cornelius Zoller (born June 13, 1927 in Visegrád , Hungary , † January 25, 1998 in Townshend , Vermont ) was a Hungarian jazz musician .

life and work

First, Zoller learned to play the violin , double bass and flugelhorn before turning to the guitar . His live career began in the jazz clubs of Budapest after the end of the Second World War .

In 1948 he left Hungary shortly before the closing of the Iron Curtain, with the aim of Vienna . After playing with the pianist and accordionist Vera Auer (until 1954) and touring with Joe Zawinul , he came to the Federal Republic of Germany , where he initially worked with Dave Amram , Albert Mangelsdorff and Jutta Hipp , and later with Hans Koller , Oscar Pettiford and Rudi Sehring ( Rhythm and Something More , Mod , 1956).

In 1959 he moved to the United States of America , where he attended the Lenox School of Jazz with Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry . It was there that Zoller's contact with freer jazz came about. Zoller played in the combos of Benny Goodman , Chico Hamilton , Stan Getz and Herbie Mann before forming his own groups with Don Friedman , Dave Pike , Herbie Hancock , Ron Carter and Lee Konitz . There were also recordings with Klaus Doldinger . From 1965 onwards, Zoller devoted himself more and more to free jazz , not without adopting other currents of the later years. There was always a folk-Hungarian influence. In addition, Zoller made a name for himself with film music for the film adaptations of Das Bread of the Early Years ( Heinrich Böll ) and von Katz und Maus ( Günter Grass ) as well as with the jazz & lyric project Heinrich Heine: Lyrik und Jazz by Joachim Ernst Berendt (with Emil Mangelsdorff , Peter Trunk and Klaus Weiss ) as well as with the reciter Gert Westphal . In 1979 and 1980 he made three records with duo recordings with Jimmy Raney , Zoller's role model on the guitar. Between 1989 and 1998 he played increasingly as a duo with the German vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid . The two recorded sound carriers together.

In 1972 he founded the Vermont Jazz Center , where he gave summer courses and performed with other musicians such as Andrei Ryabov .

Attila Zoller developed a pickup for the electric guitar for the Shadow brand and guitars in collaboration with the Framus and Höfner brands . He played various Framus guitars from around 1958 to around 1980, most recently his signature model AZ-10 5 / 67E, which was produced until the early 1970s. After Zoller's death (from 2004), Framus again had an Attila Zoller signature guitar model with the name Framus AZ in its range, based on the old AZ-10 model from 1970, which was still played by Zoller himself. The Höfner AZ models were produced between 1982 and 1991 and can be heard on late recordings by Zoller or Jimmy Raney . Altogether there were five different AZ models from Höfner; Attila Zoller himself mostly played a Höfner-AZ-Standard in Brown-Sunburst-Finish in his last years.

Zoller's last appearance was on January 6, 1998. He died of colon cancer three weeks later .


  • Down Beat Poll as guitarist - “Talent deserving wider recognition” , 1964 and 1973
  • Federal film award for the music for Das Brot der Früh Jahre
  • Achievement in Jazz Award from the New England Foundation for the Arts , 1995 (for services in jazz education)
  • 'Message to Attila', tribute album, coordinated and produced by guitarist David Becker. Compositions mainly from Zoller are interpreted by guitarists such as John Abercrombie, Gene Bertoncini, Peter Bernstein, Pat Metheny and Mike Stern.

Choice discography


Selected bibliography

  • Instructions for improvisation for jazz guitar. Schott, Mainz (= Edition Schott. Volume 5048).


  • Géza Gábor Simon: Immensely good. Attila Zoller. His life and his art . Budapest 2003. ISBN 963-206-928-5
  • Heinz Protzer: Attila Zoller. His life, his time, his music . Erftstadt 2009. ISBN 978-3-00-026568-6

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Attila Zoller & Wolfgang Lackerschmid: Live Highlights '92 (remastered) (LP) - jpc. Retrieved October 2, 2019 .
  2. Attila Zoller, Founder
  3. ^ Lothar Trampert: Framus & Free Jazz. Attila Zoller's AZ-10. In: Electric Guitars. The Guitar & Bass Special, 2004, pp. 108–110.
  4. ^ Franz Holtmann: Masterpiece: Framus AZ-10 Custom Shop Edition. In: Guitar & Bass , 12/2008, pp. 114–116.
  5. 5/67 AZ-10. Framus Vintage Archives, accessed April 24, 2015
  6. ^ Gordon Giltrap / Neville Martin: The Hofner Guitar - A History. 2009, New York: Hal Leonard, p. 15
  7. ^ Lothar Trampert: Attila Zoller. Guitar jazz, jazz guitars. In: Guitar & Bass , 04/2008, pp. 89-100.
  8. ^ Tod ,, accessed September 28, 2012