Album Remarks & Appraisals:
David Bowie has been assassinated! While the female artist is preparing for her appearance at Carnegie Hall, police sirens whine through Manhattan's streets, shots are fired, and speculations run wild on the omnipresent news channels. In 1982 Jean-Jacques Schuhl wrote a fictional end-time drama for radio, and the Fassbinder companion Peer Raben turned it into a radio opera for the magnificent Ingrid Caven. This ambitious work then situated in the near future has been lost, including the broadcast tapes. Together with Michael Emanuel Bauer, Raben's colleague for many years, Oliver Held has prepared a new version for the young singer Ibadet Ramadani combining the historical source with contemporary jazz to form a gripping fusion production.
Famous Caven songs like "Trans-Europa-Tango" and "Polaroid Cocaine" are of course a must. However, the new arrangements avoid any sort of chanson bliss. The young sextet formation led by the Berlin percussionist Ernst Bier creates a thoroughly up-to-date sound event with the latest modern jazz. A special highlight: Michael Emanuel Bauer has replaced the lost orchestral parts with an original Mighty Wurlitzer theater organ adding a cinematic dimension to this work shifting between radio play, jazz opera, concert, and audio collage.
Oliver Held's textual version sets the action in the past, which in the original was as yet the future. Authentic tone documents and reminiscences of the events, culture, and lifestyle of the late 1980s produce a panorama of the spirit of those times, during which "the end of history" was interiorized as an infallible truth. Melancholy songs like "American Bar" or the multiple impressions from "Room 1050" (including the neighboring suites) fit in very well here.
The recording technology is also modern: in three dimensional 2+2+2 sound the various action sites develop a palpable plasticity. Whether the intimate situation in the hotel room, the sensational news reports emanating from the television, or the narrator's parts recited to the Mighty Wurlitzer - the room-filling sound panorama draws the audience right into the midst of these happenings - "that is just like in a song!"
Personnel: Ibadet Ramadani (vocals); Ulrich Kempendorff (reeds); Nikolaus Neuser (trumpet); Jason Liebert (trombone); Benny Lackner (piano); Piotr Gudel (organ); Friedrich Wilhelm Rodding, Werner Dabringhaus (synthesizer); Ernst Bier (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Michael Emanuel Bauer; Oliver Held.
Recording information: Konzerthaus der Abtei Marienmünster (11/09/2014-11/11/2014).
Photographers: Willi Wiesinger; Max Nauta; Michael Emanuel Bauer; Vincent Chmiel; Archiv Frank Fellermeier; Wolfgang Müller.