Christopher Dell – The World We Knew (2007)


Someone has come up with something fine and that someone is Christopher Dell:

Christopher Dell (* 17 September 1965 in Darmstadt) is a German musician, composer and theorist.

Dell studied vibraphone, percussion and composition in Hilversum in 1985/1986 and in Rotterdam from 1986 to 1988, followed by studies at the Berklee School of Music from 1988 to 1990. He worked as a freelance composer and vibraphonist, and from 1992 to 2000 as a lecturer at the Darmstadt Academy of Music. He also plays in the permanent trio D.R.A., which won the JazzArtAward in 2002. He has also recorded with Theo Jörgensmann, Bob Brookmeyer, Seda, Klaus König, Hiram Bullock, Norbert Stein, Vince Mendoza and with ElbtonalPercussion.

Christopher Dell02

Dell has directed the “Institute for Improvisation Technology” in Berlin since 2000 and was artist in residence at the Goethe-Institut Kolkata from 2007 to 2008. From 2008 to 2010 and from 2015 to 2018, he held a substitute professorship for urban design theory at the chair of “Urban Design” at HafenCity University Hamburg. He also held a visiting professorship in this subject at the TU Munich. Since 2017, Dell has taught urban design and urban renewal at the Berlin University of the Arts. In May 2012, Dell completed his doctorate at the University of Duisburg-Essen with the thesis “The improvising organisation: management after the end of plannability”. Since 2010 he has worked in a trio with Christian Lillinger and Jonas Westergaard (album Grammar, 2013). Dell has toured extensively with Wolfgang Haffner’s quartet. In 2017, Dell was elected to the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences. (wikipedia)

Christopher Dell03

And here´s real pretty good album:

Everybody knows Strangers in the Night, one of the greatest hits of the 20th century. Yet, hardly anybody knows that the German composer Bert Kaempfert wrote the song. One can find his name credited next to a great number of worldfamous titles. Kaempfert made music history and created a distinctive style with titles like Spanish Eyes, Danke Schoen, A
Swingin’ Safari or the aforementioned Strangers in the Night, that facilitated Frank Sinatra’s furious return to the top of the charts in 1966.

The Hamburg-born composer, arranger and big-band leader Bert Kaempfert (October 16th 1923 – June 21st 1980) discovered the Beatles and produced their first recordings, he arranged for Elvis Presley, and helped Al Martino to his comeback with Spanish Eyes. His incomparable sound – dominant “knack-bass” figures (Ladi doubling the bass line an
octave up on muted guitar), swinging rhythms, horns and a carefully created luminous background of choir and strings – created a stir all over the world in the early 1960’s.

Bert Keampfert01

All the greatest stars of American showbiz were crazy about Kaempfert’s work. Wayne Newton adorned himself with Danke Schoen; the great Nat King Cole celebrated a triumph with L.O.V.E. Jack Jones (Lady), Dean Martin (I Can’t Help Remembering You), Sammy Davis Jr. (Lonely Is The Name), but also Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Caterina Valente, Nancy Wilson – all of them had celebrated success with compositions by Bert Kaempfert. His hits have become evergreens.

In the year 1993, Kaempfert posthumously received the greatest honour that can be bestowed upon a composer: the acceptance into the American Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame.

Bert Keampfert02

Christopher Dell about this album:
Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler: the most noteworthy German songwriters of the 20th century. Here is another one: Bert Kaempfert. His melodies, atmospheres and his – then revolutionary – concept of sound and space have moved millions of listeners worldwide.
There is a unique quality to each of his compositions, that has fascinated me as a musical “problem” to be solved.
Another musically interesting aspect of his work was Kaempfert’s way of interpreting music as a design object.
In approaching the music, it was important for me that we transport the compositions into a contemporary context. To achieve this, we tried to not let the aspect of space (Kaempfert) or structure (jazz) take priority; rather we focused completely on colour. This impressionist approach allows our music to become a statement independent of the original.

The pieces seem to become excavated monuments from far-gone days. They have the morbid charm of a ruined building, the beauty of which becomes apparent if we take a second look. The voices and the atmosphere that once filled these rooms with life sound out to us from its walls. The title The World We Knew takes on a whole new meaning
in this context, and contributes an inner unity to our conception of a “considerate archaeology”.
There is one musician whose sound left its mark on Kaempfert’s music: guitar player Ladi Geisler. I’m very pleased that he contributed so much of his creativity and elegance to this recording.

Christopher Dell04

A wonderful, measured and yet new bow to one of the great composers of the past century by one of the great vibraphonists of our day. Light and yet of high standard. Simply great. (jazzpodium)


Carsten Daerr (piano)
Christopher Dell (vibraphone)
Ladi Geisler (guitar)
Christof Lauer (saxophone)
Oliver Potratz (bass)
Eric Schaefer (drums)


01.Don’t Talk To Me 5.55
02. Danke schön 3.55
03. A Swingin‘ Safari 7.41
04. Strangers In The Night 5.56
05. Afrikaan Beat (Part II) 2.50
06. Wiedersehn 6.24
07. It Makes No Difference 4.33
08. Spanish Eyes 3.11
09. Afrikaan Beat (Part I) 2.48
10. Geh nicht vorbei (I Can’t Help Remembering You) 5.50
11. The World We Knew (Over & Over) 4.25
12. Love After Midnight (90 Minuten nach Mitternacht) 3.58

Music: Bert Kaempfert



More Bert Kaempfert:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.