Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Funky fusion band floating through a gentle pop production. In the 1978 liner notes to “House-Boat”, Volker Kriegel describes how difficult it was to set up a recording date. Vibraphonist Wolfgang Schlüter was to be featured, but had commitments with the NDR Big Band in Hamburg, Germany; Kriegel was one of Germany’s busiest jazz-rock musicians, as well as cartoonist, author, and radio moderator. It was pure luck that the album got recorded at all. Schlüter is still active – he won the prestigious German Echo award for jazz in 2013, but the younger Kriegel died in 2003. Born in Darmstadt, Kriegel was self-taught on guitar. He was influenced as much by the tasteful, subtle styles of Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall as by John McLaughlin’s rocking power. Schlüter’s influences were Lionel Hampton with his infectious swing, Milt Jackson from the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Gary Burton, who opted for four mallets instead of the normal two, and played the vibraphone like it was a piano. The two multi-talented musicians flaunt their quality during their studio encounter in Stuttgart. On the Kriegel composition “Memory Delay”, Schlüter changes to marimba and congas. The two soloists are accompanied by musicians from Kriegel’s “Mild Maniac Orchestra”; the jazz-rock band won the 1982 German Phonographic Academy’s award in the pop ensemble category.
Liner Note Author: Hans Hielscher.
Recording information: Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik, Stuttgart, Germany (08/1978).