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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



LUTZ EIKELMANN

Wochenend und Sonnenschein

SGDH (No number)

 

 

1. Wochenend und Sonnenschein [Weekend and Sunshine]

2. Wild Cat Blues

3. Tishomingo [Blues]

4. Nostalgic Medley:

a. Am sonntag will mein sußer mit mir segeln gehn [On Sunday my sweet wants to go sailing with me]

b. Schorschl, achfahr mit mi rim Automobil [George, please drive with me in the

automobile]

c. Hallo kleines Fräulein [Hello little miss]

d. Ice Cream

5. Beale Street Blues

6. Dinah

7. At the Jazzband [sic] Ball

8. Petite Fleur

9. Memories of You

10. All the Things You Are

11. I’m Looking over a Four Leaf Clover

12. Gimme More of That Beer

13. Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby

14. Buddy Bolden Blues


Personnel:

Bert Brandsma – Clarinet, alto, tenor, F-mezzo-soprano, and bass saxophones

Jörg Kuhfuß – Trumpet and vocal (tracks 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13)

Johannes Zink – Guitar and banjo

Lutz Eikelmann – Sousaphone

Thomas Guthoff (the recording engineer) added – Piano (tracks 9, 10, and 14)

Recorded in the Guthoff studio in the Westerwald area of Germany in early August 2015.

Note: The liner notes are in German, but Lutz Eikelmann kindly provided me an English translation, to which I am indebted in some parts of the following commentary.


This is the first Lutz Eikelmann studio album in some nine years, according to the liner notes, the last having been Calling My Children Back Home. This session features a quartet with Bert Brandsma guesting on reeds. Brandsma, from Holland, is currently one of the reed players with the Chris Barber Big Band, having joined in 2012, which should be enough to establish his credentials. As he shows on this album, he has no difficulty getting around the various reeds he plays, from the clarinet on Wild Cat Blues and, especially, Petite Fleur, to the bass sax on Buddy Bolden’s Blues.

The group romps through the up-tempo numbers and thoughtfully interprets the slower ones. All of the tunes on this disc—except, perhaps, for the three German numbers in the medley on track 4—will be familiar to almost everyone. Listening to many of the cuts, one could well imagine himself or herself in a pizza parlor indulging in a piece of pie and washing it down with some suds, well before track 12, Gimme More of That Beer, a fun riff on a Spike Jones coda. The two selections that stood out most for me were the second, Wild Cat Blues, and the eighth, Petite Fleur. Bechet and Monty Sunshine cast long shadows on each, but Brandsma manages to avoid replicating their interpretations and makes the tunes his own. He has a full, woody sound, and that, coupled with his deft fingering, allows the music to be unimpeded by “clams” and to result in most satisfying listening.

Eikelmann, as always, plays his part without dominating or bogging down the rhythm, ably assisted by Zink, who can play single string solos as well as rhythm guitar and banjo. I like Kuhfuss’ trumpet playing, open or muted—he does not try to blow down the back wall, but fits in nicely with the others to create a group sound, playing a solid lead. However, I can’t say the same about his singing, and he sings on many of the tracks. I found his vibrato and timbre to be rather grating, the former being wavering and cloying, the latter somewhat nasal. (But I am led to believe he is a very popular vocalist in Europe!)

Not to end on a negative note, I think that apart from the vocals this is an enjoyable CD which provides some 64 minutes of solid musical entertainment, particularly for those who, like me, are of a certain age. Inquiries can be addressed to Lutz Eikelmann at www.Lutz-Eikelmann.de.

Bert Thompson



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