Passport – Heavy Nights (1986)

frontcover1Heavy Nights finds Passport founder and veteran sax man Klaus Doldinger in rare form. On this offering from 1986, the veteran sax player delves into the world of pop-jazz. Although, given his vast palette and the different settings here, it would be a mistake to simply call Heavy Nights a pop-jazz record. Doldinger’s tastes have always been eclectic and he brings his own unique jazz contributions to the table. Furthermore, he possesses that rare ability to produce jazz that is accessible without having to sacrifice substance in the process. Whatever you chose to call it, Heavy Nights is just great music. The songs here range from the playful “Bahia Praia” to the upbeat, big-band feel of “It’s Magic.” On board for this incarnation of Passport are Kevin Mulligan (guitar), Dieter Petereit (bass), Curt Cress (drums), Herman Weindorf (keyboards), and Victoria Miles (vocals). The performances of this lineup are certainly noteworthy throughout, but Heavy Nights is really a one-man show. Doldinger takes charge here performing, producing, arranging, and, composing all of the tracks. As expected, he excels in all of these areas, but it’s his ability to speak in cohesive melodic sentences that are both lyrically and emotionally satisfying, and which makes this disc so enjoyable. The melodies aren’t just good, they’re memorable. The beautiful “Forever,” as romantic a piece as you will find, is not just memorable, it actually borders on unforgettable. In addition, Doldinger’s distinct phrasing punctuates each of the tracks adding the dramatic pauses that help to distinguish Heavy Nights.
The arrangements, for the most part, are straightforward with a few twists thrown in. Doldinger makes wonderful use of the sparseness constructing interesting passages that enhance the mood of each piece. On almost all of the tracks, Doldinger handles the lion’s share of the soloing chores. Not surprisingly, his focus and restraint speak volumes. When he steps forward he delivers, and when appropriate he steps back, allowing his bandmembers and session people to add the right touches. Benny Bailey’s flügelhorn solo on the title track, for instance, is the perfect contrast to Doldinger’s tenor sax, and is one of the records highlights. Some of the other stand-out tracks include the atmospheric “Here Today,” and the jazzy “Easy Come, Easy Go.” As he has been known to do, Doldinger continually experimented and found new directions for Passport. The rock guitar-based Running in Real Time and the spacy Earthborn, also from this era, are both noteworthy. Heavy Nights, though, is arguably the high-water mark for Doldinger thus far. (by Jeri Montesano)
doldinger
Personnel:
Curt Cress (drums)
Biboul Darouiche (percussion)
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone, keyboards on 04., lyricon on 07.)
Dieter Petereit (bass)
Kevin Mulligan (guitar)
Hermann Weindorf (keyboards)
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Benny Baily (flugelhorn on 05. + 06.)
Andreas Haderer (trumpet on 08.)
Nadeen Holloway (background vocals on 08.)
Franz Weyerer (vocals on 08.)
backcover
Tracklist:

01. Bahia Praia  5.13
02. Playing Games 4.13
03. Here Today 5.57
04. Forever 4.50
05. Heavy Nights 6.03
06. Easy Come, Easy Go 4.24
07. Remembrance 5.36
08. It’s Magic 4.14
Music: Klaus Doldinger
Lyrics: Victoria Miles (08.)
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Klaus Doldinger & Passport – Down To Earth (1993)

klausdoldingerfrontcover1Passport was a German jazz/fusion group formed in 1971. Founded by Ace Saxeman, composer and arranger Klaus Doldinger along with Curt Cress (percussion), Kristian Schultze (keyboards), and Wolfgang Schmid (bass & guitar). This was the classic lineup that started with their 4th album “Looking Thru” in 1973, their first US release. I’m not familiar with their first 3 albums, but outside Klaus, the lineup was pretty different. This classic lineup continued through the next 5 albums. Utilizing spacey electronic jazz with rock and classical styles, this group was very groundbreaking. Klaus has a knack for coming up with some of the most beautiful saxe melodies you ever heard. Curt Cress was probably one of the first drummers to experiment with electronic drums. Bassist Wolfgang Schmid’s classical guitar adds a nice demension. And Kristian Schultze’s use of synth and mellotron gives them an expansive orchestral sound. After their 8th album, PASSPORT went through many different incarnations with only Klaus as the common denominator in all of them. In the 80’s, Klaus did other projects like motion picture soundtracks, most notably “Das Boot”. But PASSPORT still to this day records and performs (mostly in Europe, they came to the US only once) with various personnel. But it was the classic lineup that expanded their audience and gave them critical acclaim. (by progarchives)

This is the 22th album (!) of Klaus Doldinger & Passport and it´s another fine example of his high energy jazz-rock … with “Down To Eart” he won the Gold Jazz Award in Germany.

Klaus Doldinger is today 80 years old and … believe it or not … he´s still touring through Germany and Europe … A master of his own !

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Personnel:
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone, flute)
Roberto Di Gioia (keyboards)
Wolfgang Haffner (drums)
Peter O’Mara (guitar)
Jochen Schmidt (bass)
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Allen C. Cuffey (rap vocals on 07.)

booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Wise Up 5.25
02. Lowdown And Flyin’ High 6.55
03. Korako 6.32
04. Allemande Deux 6.32
05. Nighttime In The City 5.03
06. Esperanto 5.24
07. Passport’s In The House 5.01
08. Missing You 5.00
09. Ridin’ On A Rainbow 5.19
10. Never Ending Blues 6.55

All compositions by Klaus Doldinger

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Passport – Doldinger Jubilee Concert (1974)

FrontCover1Klaus Doldinger (born 12 May 1936) is a German saxophonist, especially well known for jazz and as a composer of film music. He was the recipient of 1997’s Bavarian Film Awards.

Doldinger was born in Berlin, and entered a Düsseldorf conservatory in 1947, originally studying piano and then clarinet,[1] graduating in 1957. In his student years, Doldinger gained professional performing experience, starting in 1953 in the German Dixieland band The Feetwarmers, and recording with them in 1955. Later that year he founded Oscar’s Trio, modeled on Oscar Peterson’s work.

During the 1960s he worked as a tenor saxophonist, working with visiting American jazz musicians and recording in his own right.

Doldinger is perhaps best known for his film scores to the acclaimed German U-boat film Das Boot (1981) and later The NeverEnding Story (1984).

Doldinger married Inge Beck in 1960; they have three children, Viola, Melanie and Nicolas Doldinger. Since 1968 they have resided in Icking, a small Bavarian village, south of Munich.

Doldinger’s recurring jazz project Passport, started in 1971 (then called “Klaus Doldinger’s Passport”), still enjoys huge success in Germany. In its influence it was sometimes called the European version of Weather Report.

Passport
The “classic” Passport line-up, 1974
Curt Cress – Kristian Schultze – Klaus Doldinger- Wolfgang Schmid

At various times members of Passport included Peter O’Mara (guitar), Roberto DiGioia (keyboards), Patrick Scales (bass, since 1994), Ernst Stroer (de:Ernst Ströer) (percussion, since 1989), Christian Lettner (drums, since 2000), Michael Hornek (keyboard since 2009), Biboul Darouiche (percussion, since 1995) and others. Guests include Brian Auger (1973), Johnny Griffin (1973) and Pete York (1973). (by wikipedia)

And this is the live album from this unique “Jubilee” Tour through Germany … Passport and friends like Alexis Konrer, BrianAugen, Johnny Griffin and Pete York !

This was a sensational tour and definitely one of the many hightlighs of Klaus Doldingers long career … Today he is 80 years old and still alive and well … I saw him last year in a great concert and he played more than 3 hours !

Doldinger1973

The private Doldinger with his wife Inge and their two daughters at the
their house in Icking (near Munich/Germany)

Personnel:
Curt Cress (guitar)
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone)
Wolfgang Schmid (bass)
Kristian Schultze (keyboards)
Pete York (drums, percussion)
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Brian Auger (organ bei 01., 02., 04. – 06.)
Johnny Griffin (saxophone bei 01., 03., 04.
Alexis Korner (guitar bei 04. – 06., vocals bei 05.)
Volker Kriegel (guitar bei 01., 03., 04. – 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Handmade (Doldinger) 5:42
02. Freedom Jazz Dance (Harris) 6.00
03. Schirokko (Doldinger) 9.30
04. Rockport (Doldinger) 9.15
05. Rock Me Baby (Traditional) 4.40
06. Lemuria’s Dance (Doldinger) 6.55

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Various Artists – The Atlantic Family Live At Montreux (1978)

FrontCover1The Atlantic Family Live at Montreux is a live recording made at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival. It featured the Don Ellis Orchestra together with the Average White Band and guest musicians. It was originally released as a double album on vinyl.

This double LP was recorded at a series of concerts sponsored by Atlantic Records at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival. The mixture of jazz and R&B musicians is quite odd and sometimes stimualting. In addition to members of The Average White Band and soul singers Ben E. King and Luther Vandross, such players as tenor-saxophonist Michael Brecker, trumpeter Randy Brecker, altoist Sonny Fortune, flutist Herbie Mann, tenor-saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman and even trumpeter Don Ellis have their solos. It’s an odd but ultimately successful jam session, long out-of-print. (by Scott Yanow)

Luther Vandross with Ben E. King

Ben E. King with Luther Vandross

This album is a real oddity, but that’s part of what makes the session really interesting and worthwhile. Originally released as a double LP, this album was never rereleased, so consequently this is an album rip. Recorded at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival, this album is a session of all the artists at the festival that were signed to Atlantic Records at the time. It’s essentially a funk jam session with the horn players playing backgrounds and contributing extended solos over classic and original charts. The album notes refer to this idea as “the universal rhythm section,” an idea that ascribes the rhythm section as the foundation of the band in jazz and blues.

LivePic01

The album opens with “Bahia (Na Baixa Do Sapateiro)” (credited on other albums as Baía), a tune penned by Brazilian composer Ary Barroso in the 1930s famous for other tunes like “Brazil.” “Bahia” is a great showcase for the horns, which present a very rhythmic interpretation of the melody, and for the guitars, which interject soloistic lines at the ends of phrases. Randy and Michael Brecker currently signed to Atlantic with their funk outfit The Brecker Brother play extended solos over the heavily funky interpretation of a Brazilian classic.

David Newman +Don Ellis

David Newman +Don Ellis

“Jadoo” is an original penned by German saxophonist Klaus Doldinger, who at the time was leader of Passport, a German fusion group. “Jadoo” relies on heavily accented unison lines in the woodwinds with the Doldinger showing off his command of the altissimo range of his horn. Herbie Mann delivers a memorable solo on flute as does guitarist Jim Mullen. My personal favorite on the album is “Everything Must Change,” the only vocal track on the album. The track is a slow ballad with lead vocals being traded between Average White Band vocalist Hamish Stuart and Ben E. King. “Everything Must Change” is a great example of how suspensions and extended harmony can create the perfect balance of tension and release in a song. This track captures the conception of the album most of any track, as the rhythm section is really the driving rhythmic, harmonic force upon which everything is based exemplified by the rock solid bass line and the sweeping lines on the Fender Rhodes.

Herbie Mann

Herbie Mann

“McEwan’s Export” is a track written by Average White Band guitarist Alan Gorrie and recalls the aesthetic quality of their album Soul Searching released the previous year in 1976. This track is the kind of jam tune that made Average White Band famous. “One to One” is a very slimmed-down track with Average White Band only accompanied with a few soloists. The tune is a solo vehicle for tune author David Newman and fellow saxophonist Klaus Doldinger. “Pick Up the Pieces” closes the album and is probably the biggest highlight of the album showcasing not only the conception of the album, but also giving the horn players a great vehicle for some incredible solos.

Dick Morrissey + Sonny Fortune

Dick Morrissey + Sonny Fortune

While the tune is well-known by most people, the arranged horn sections that are inserted between solos give the tune a new vitality and a sense of identity. “Pick Up the Pieces” has the most strictly “jazz” solos presented by Don Ellis, Herbie Mann, and the Breckers. This album is a testament to the stark contrast of records released in the late 70s to the current times. The environment of that time period ripe for jazz-funk crossovers and artists willing to take the leap create an interesting albeit odd product (by warriorsofsalem.blogspot.de)

In other word: this is much more than a jam-session, this is an unbelieveable celebration of jazz-funk-rock …

LivePic05Personnel:
Roger Ball (saxophone)
Rubens Bassini (percussion)
Michael Brecker (saxophone)
Randy Brecker (trumpet)
Rafael Cruz (percussion)
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone)
Molly Duncan (saxophone)
Don Ellis (trumpet)
Steve Ferrone (drums)
Sammy Figueroa (percussion)
Sonny Fortune (saxophone)
Alan Gorrie (bass)
Jaroslav Jakubovic (saxophone)
Alan Kaplan (trombone)
Ben E. King (vocals)
Herbie Mann (flute)
Onnie McIntyre (guitar)
Dick Morrissey (saxophone)
Jim Mullen (guitar)
David “Fathead” Newman (saxophone)
Gilman Rathel (trumpet)
Barry Rogers (trombone)
Lew Soloff (trumpet)
Hamish Stuart (guitar, bass)
Richard Tee (piano)
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Background vocals:
Alfa Anderson – Diane Sumler – Diva Gray – Krystal Davis – Luther Vandross – Peter Cox – Robin Clark

Inlet1Tracklist:
01. Bahia (Na Baixa Do Sapateiro) (Barroso) 16.32
02. Jadoo (Doldinger) 10.34
03. Everything Must Change (Ighner) 6.21
04. McEwan’s Export (Gorrie) 8.58
05. One To One (Newman) (9:10)
06. Pick Up the Pieces (Ball/Stuart) 21.40

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Alan Gorrie

Alan Gorrie

Passport – Iguacu (1977)

LPFrontCover1 Something strange happened when Passport went to Rio de Janeiro to cut the Iguacu album — they seemed to forget the entire basis for their previous success. The trademark Klaus Doldinger sax sound is muted and diluted by the attempt to fit the band into a Brazilian jazz mold, and the result sounds eerily like a pretty good lounge jazz band trying to sound like Passport. The long, liquid melody lines are gone, replaced by up-tempo but unmemorable frameworks for full-band jams. Guitarist Roy Louis plays an unusually large part, Doldinger an unusually small one, and the tracks with the local Brazilian musicians are energetic but unfocused. This is one of the least compelling Passport albums, one without a single tune that stays in your head long after you hear it. (by Richard Foss)

But:

Passport was absolutely at their peak on this album. I had everything they released in the states , Infinity Machine was right before this. Not many Jazz/rock/fusion sets could hang with Herbie’s Headhunters or Return to Forever or Weather Report at the time, but Passport was just as large to me-much too underrated of a group.(justatuch)

This is a very good album, indeed.

Recorded at Union Studios, Munich and Level Studios, Rio De Janeiro

Passport1975Passport in 1975

Personnel:
Curt Cress (drums, berimbau)
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone, flute, synthesizer, organ)
Elmer Louis (percussion)
Roy Louis (guitar)
Wolfgang Schmid (bass)
Kristian Schultze (keyboards)
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Mats Björklund (guitar on 08.)
Wilson Das Neves (congas), pandeiro on 04.)
Roberto Bastos Pinheiro (surdo on 04.)
Noel Manuel Pinto (cuica on 08.)
Clélio Ribeiro (berimbau on 04.)
Marcello Salazar (percussion on 04.)
Pedro “Sorongo” Santos (percussion, whistles on 08.)

LPBackCoverATracklist:
01. Bahia Do Sol 5.53
02. Aguamarinha 4.10
03. Bird Of Paradise 5.36
04. Sambukada 4.30
05. Iguacu 8.42
06. Praia Leme 2.58
07. Heavy Weight 4.30
08. Guna Guna  4.28

All compositions written by Klaus Doldinger

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Passport – Talk Back (1988)

PassportTalkBackFrontCover1This is pretty standard-issue ’80’s Passport; breezy, invigorating and laid-back jazz with traces of fusion.
As you can’t really go wrong with Passport, this is yet another worthwhile release. But this one does have some vocals, which never really worked out too well with Passport – still, “Talk Back” is a good set. (by burritobros)
In this Passport line-up you can hear two of the greatest american jazz-rock musicians: Alphonse Mouzon and Brian Auger !

BackCover1Personnel:
Brian Auger (keyboards)
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone, keyboards)
Alphonse Mouzon (drums)
Jochen Schmidt (bass)
Hermann Weindorf (keyboards)
Roykey Whydh (guitar)
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Todd Caneby (vocals)
Guillermo Marchena (percussion)
Julio Matta (percussion)
Victoria Miles (vocals)
Christin Sargeant (vocals)

BookletTracklist:
1. Intro (Doldinger) 1.05
2. Dancing in the Wind (Doldinger) 5.34
3. Fire Walking (Doldinger) 3.17
4. City Blue (Doldinger) 5.14
5. Sahara (Doldinger) 5.30
6. Up Front (Doldinger) 5.19
7. Nico’s Dream (Doldinger) 6.05
8. Todo Legal (Doldinger) 4.44
9. Talk Back (Doldinger/Canedy/Miles) 5.49

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Passport – Ataraxia/Sky Blue (1978)

FrontCover1With “Atraxia”/”Sky Blue”, Klaus Doldinger tips his hat and his planetary axis to German electronic music, while making it his own as only he can do. The two-part “Ataraxia” alone is worth the cost of the disk, beginning with gently hypnotic synths and building to a crescendo of vivacious sax-led testimonies that never completely drown out the keyboard rhythms. This is music that can appeal to jazz, progressive, funk, world, and even remotely adventurous new age fans.

Keyboards do tend to dominate when the sax is not to the fore, and on the title cut, “Sky Blue”, the synthesizer doodling reaches its apex without wearing thin. Roy Louis’ guitar and Dieter Petereit’s bass provide the backing that makes Passport one of the more listenable groups of their ilk. This is jazz for sure, but in a more loosely structured rather than free form sense. Listen to “Mandrake” for an even better example, with guitar leads not unlike some of Andy Latimer’s workouts on “Rain Dances”, but with a greater respect for the overall piece. It’s not so much dance music, but music that dances. Another highlight is the chugging “Loco-motive”, in which Doldinger’s flute simulates the whistle of the train when actual audio samples are not being used, and his flutes elsewhere are sprightly and melodically integrated with the sax. Quintessential travelling music, it skips and careens along the rails with its own frothy character.

A refuge of level headed coolness as it was in 1978, “Ataraxia” remains as relevant today as then, and a passport to further enjoyment of this classy act.(by kenethlevine)

BackCover1Personnel:
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone, flute, keyboards)
Willy Ketzer (drums)
Elmer Louis (percussion)
Roy Louis (guitar)
Guillermo G. Marchena (percussion, vocals)
Dieter Petereit (bass)
Hendrik Schaper (keyboards)

AlternateFrontCovers
Alternate frontcovers (from the GDR label Amiga + from the US release called “Blue Sky”

Tracklist:
01. Ataraxia Part 1 2.55
02. Ataraxia Part 2 5.20
03. Sky Blue 4.35
04. Mandrake 4.25
05. Reng Ding Dang Dong 3.00
06. Loco-Motive 5.01
07. The Secret 4.30
08. Louisiana 5.12
09. Alegria 5.12

All compositions by Klaus Doldinger

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