MPS – Duke

In 1966 Hans Georg Brunner Schwer and his team had been in San Francisco. One evening after having finished a recording they strolled over to a club called the Jazz Workshop. Les McCann was supposed to be playing, but this particular day was his day off. Instead, a 20 year old pianist, still involved in his studies, was performing with his quartet. The music’s freshness so enthralled the German that he set up a recording session on the spot. This encounter between George Duke and Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer in sunny California was both accidental and noteworthy. It turned out to be the jazzy prologue to future events: five years later the American began his fusion-infused sessions for the man from Germany’s Black Forest. These sessions are the theme of this box set with its seven LPs. Some 45 years after their initial releases, these albums still count as a fascinating and essential part of George Duke’s life’s-work and canon of the genre. All seven LPs are available as copies of the master tapes by Georg Brunner-Schwer, the man who founded the SABA company as well as the MPS recording studio.

Georg Brunner-Schwer and Oscar Peterson

6 thoughts on “MPS – Duke

  1. Eckart,
    Love it when there is a story, and there is always a story! I have several George Duke LP’s and I honestly can’t remember the last time I listened to them. I know they are from later in his career. Tonight maybe I will give them a play.
    Seeing your reel to reel deck now has me missing mine. I sold my pristine Pioneer RT1050 half track last year, deciding to focus on LP playback only, with cassette tape for casual listening. But I miss it too much. I have a spare RT1050 in need of a restoration. I will send it off this week.

    The ASC looks fabulous! Love the size!
    Nice post as always.



  2. Norman,
    Duke was a fantastic musician. He played in so many combos and did himself quite some recordings. Maybe we are now getting old understanding that all these heros are not among us anymore. I would have loved to have enjoyed this particular time period when recording and Jazz knowledgeable people like HGB and musicians like Duke and Oscar Peterson were acting. Oscar Peterson I have seen in his Munich concert. So I did with Keith Jarret, just a little second in Jazz history.



  3. E.,
    I would have loved to have seen Bill Evans. Unfortunately my knowledge of quality Jazz by 1980 were the Crusaders, George Benson and Jeff Beck (Blow by Blow). When I discovered Evans, he was gone. I was too much of a rocker then to give attention to Jazz.

    I agree, there are so many jazz greats that are gone now. The Duke records that I do have are from the mid eighties and very “electronic”’ with little regard for melody. I need to try some other titles from him.



    • Norman,
      same development as me. I came from rock, later on I discovered Jazz. Seems to be a typical trail. I did not see Bill Evans too, just bought the latest record of Bill Evans at Ronny Scott´s, a live club in London. Some 5 years ago I attended a show overthere, enjoyed a lot. Eddy Gomez and Jack DeJohnette accompanied him. The sound is nice but not in an audiophile quality, anyway good as mastered by Benny Grundman.
      Live at Ronnie Scott’s was captured in December of 1968, six months after their legendary performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival and Resonance’s long-lost studio session Some Other Time from the Black Forest. Some people do not like Eddie Gomez that much, don ´t really know why? Jack DeJohnette unfortunately played only half a year with Bill Evans before leaving to Miles Davis.



  4. E.,
    I didn’t know about Bill Evans at Ronny Scott’s. I’ll have to find that and give it a listen. I do have Bill Evans ‘Another Time’, which has this same trio with Gomez and DeJohnette. It’s quite good.
    Gomez is very good, but I have always preferred Peacock and DeJohnette together.
    I did see Elaine Elias with Gomez and DeJohnette in the early nineties. They were fantastic, playing standards and some Jobim. No vocals, just excellent jazz trio. I wish she would do more traditional jazz work sans vocals. She’s very accomplished.
    I so enjoy your blog and insights Eckart. Thank you so much.


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