Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Bizarre spoken word performance from Austria’s piano genius. The title piece, &dbquo;Donau So Blue“, is a blues on which Austrian pianist-composer Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000) is accompanied by two seasoned jazz musicians: Hans Rettenbacher on bass and Manfred Josel on drums. Gulda felt himself to be an outsider in the jazz world. He was a renowned Mozart and Beethoven interpreter, but did not want to be tied down to the world of classical music. And who was the singer Albert Golowin? Gulda describes him as “a dropout, a certain type of Viennese, a highly talented dilettante, a bungled baritone with an aversion to the concert hall.” Actually, Golowin was a pseudonym that Gulda used for singing performances. The pianist was celebrated as brilliant and criticized as infant terrible. Often, Gulda would not stick to the announced program; once he performed playing the recorder naked. In 1999 Gulda fabricated the news of his own death – and celebrated his resurrection with a techno party. His antipathy towards the concert establishment drove the piano virtuoso into the jazz scene. He played with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, and Rolf Kühn. But “one immediately hears the mangled jazz phrasing, the lack of drive,” as critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt proclaimed. The jazz guru went on to declare that, “Gulda’s love of jazz is like the love for a woman that one can never have.” Nevertheless Berendt found that Gulda-Golowin’s singing “sounds like old-style blues.” And Gulda’s scurrilous texts – also featured in this MPS production – are reminiscent of the works of Viennese actor-cabarettist Helmut Qualtinger and Austrian-American cabarettist- composer Georg Kreisler.
Liner Note Author: Hans Hielscher.
Recording information: MPS Studio, Villingen (02/1970).
Photographer: Wien Hubmann.
Translator: Martin Cook.