Art van Damme in the Black Forest - "Ecstasy" (CD+Vinyl VÖ 21.09.2018, MPS Records)

Ambassadors for MPS - Art van Damme

Release: 21. September 2018
Label: MPS Records (LC 0979)
Distribution: EDEL / NAXOS / KNM

Götz Alsmann is a well-known German radio and TV-host (WDR). He is also very good musician and entertainer. He plays a variety of instruments like piano, accordeon, guitar besides others (More info Wikipedia. He is the presenter of the re-issue "Ecstasy" of ART VAN DAMME!

Götz Alsmann: "Art van Damme is the greatest of all jazz accordionists in my book. I found out about him in the late 1960s. There I was, maybe eleven or twelve years old, browsing the "Jazz – new arrivals" bin of the small, rather jazz-oriented record store with the melodious name "Sesame Records" in my home town, when I chanced upon this serious looking man, with those huge glasses and the – admittedly – bad skin, holding a gigantic Excelsior accordion. I was interested in accordions and Jazz, but I had never heard of Excelsior accordions. I took the record home with me, put it on and was fascinated. The incredible interplay between accordion, guitar and vibraphone, as well as those hair-raising arrangements – I had to hear more from Art van Damme. And over the years and decades, I have heard more. Much more. One Art van Damme record after the other and all of them featured his virtuoso accordion playing, this incredible harmony of accordion, guitar, and vibraphone and these fantastic, imaginative arrangements. I still love this great artist today. I've also come to love the other great jazz accordionists (and, to my surprise, I've learned that there are quite a few), but none of them as much as Art van Damme.

When he began showing up in the Black Forest at the end of the 1960s on a somewhat regular basis to record LPs for the MPS label, he finally became a "household name" over here ... or that at least should have been the case had the world public paid a little more attention to these great productions from Villingen-Schwenningen. Art van Damme was so skeptical about the German musicians that he even brought along his longtime guitarist Freddy Rundquist from the USA. He had tried out and recorded all of these arrangements with him in America in the early 1950s. They were unquestionably great recordings he made here, but once he learned to trust the Black Forest musicians and began using purely German or European backing bands, the recordings were no less successful. These first German productions, these recordings made in the Black Forest were simply the best, something very special. Not only MPS, every Jazz label in the world should have considered itself lucky to have released these recordings. But they were released on MPS – and that's a good thing."
Next MPS Ambassadors are Ed Motta and Till Brönner who will talk about their favorite MPS records!

12.10. - Ed Motta - Michael Naura - Call
02.11. - Till Brönner - Oscar Peterson - Motions and Emotions

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