Eric Borchard

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Eric Borchard (actually Erich Borchardt, born August 27, 1886 in Berlin , † December 21, 1934 in Strasbourg , according to other sources July 30, 1934 in Amsterdam ) was a clarinetist , alto saxophonist and band leader. He is considered a German jazz pioneer.

Live and act

Before the First World War, Borchard was first clarinetist with the Dresden Philharmonic and, after returning from the USA , where he had worked as a musician for a short time in 1918/19, founded the first German band, Eric Concerto's Yankee Jazz Band , in 1919 own admission) was able to play jazz "in a reasonably competent manner" and played along the lines of North American Dixieland jazz bands (such as the Louisiana Five ). He accompanied silent films and also played a jazz band leader in two films in 1921/22 (for example in Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse, the player ). He remained true to his style when he led the Eric Borchard's Atlantic Jazz Band from 1922 , which included the Afro-American trombonist Earl Granstaff , the trombonist Emile Christian , the trumpeter Wilbur Kurz and the pianist Austin Egen . For training purposes, he required himself and his fellow musicians to train themselves by listening to new record material; his recordings from 1924 onwards are comparable to those of American jazz greats. He also played with other traveling American musicians such as Creighton Thompson (dr).

Borchard's first record was in October 1920; his last recordings were made in 1932. His records were initially released by Polyphon , and by Deutsche Grammophon in the mid-1920s . A total of around 150 photos were taken by him between 1920 and 1925. After a break of several years, he recorded a few more tracks for Triton Schallplatten GmbH (labels: Triva and Goldplatte) in 1932. After Bert Noglik he was one of the first jazz pioneers in Germany with a jazz-specific style of playing (phrasing, tone formation, improvisation).

In addition to the music of his American models, Borchard also appropriated their lifestyle; After scandals about drugs and women and a conviction of manslaughter, because of the seizure of power by the National Socialists, he did not return from a foreign tour, he committed suicide in 1934, probably with a drug overdose.


Selected recordings

  • After You Get What You Want, You Don't Want It.Foxtrot - Polyphon 50195 (mx 140 av) - Berlin approx. May 1921
  • Oh Sister, Ain't That Hot. Foxtrot - Grammophon 20122 (mx 1981 ax) - Berlin November 1924
  • Some of these days . Foxtrot - Triva 0504 (mx 504) - Berlin around September 1932


  • Horst J. Bergmeier, Rainer E. Lotz: Eric Borchard Story . Edition "der Jazzfreund", Menden 1988 (Jazzfreund publication; No. 35).
  • Ekkehard Jost : Jazz in Germany . In: Klaus Wolbert (Ed.): That's Jazz. The sound of the 20th century . Institut Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt 1988 (catalog of the exhibition of the same name from May 29 to August 28, 1988).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Rainer Lotz in Barry Kernfeld , New Grove Dictionary of Jazz , Macmillan 1996, article Eric (h) Borchard, p. 139
  2. ^ Wolfgang Knauer "Play yourself, man!" The history of jazz in Germany. Reclam, Stuttgart 2019, p. 36ff.
  3. Bert Noglik, Jazz in Germany , Goethe-Institut 2009
  4. He had tried to pump a stomach out of a friend who had overdosed on sleeping pills; she suffocated.
  5. all on Horst J. Bergmeier, Rainer E. Lotz: Jazz in Germany - From Cakewalk to Jazz (Bear Family Records BCD 16909 CP)