Founded more than 60 years ago and still going strong today, the Deutsches Jazz Festival (German Jazz Festival) in Frankfurt am Main is one of the oldest jazz festivals in Europe, and at its start in 1953 played a crucial role in the development of the jazz scene in Germany.

Even more than today, in the 1950s and 1960s, festivals were very important for European jazz musicians. They were a rare chance to see American jazz stars, a podium for local musicians to showcase their talent to a bigger public and an opportunity to meet foreign musicians.

It’s no coincidence that the German Jazz Festival was initiated in Frankfurt. After all, in post-war Germany, Frankfurt was the hot spot for jazz, hosting such talents as Jutta Hipp, Joki Freund or the brothers Albert and Emil Mangelsdorff, who were joined by expatriates Hans Koller, Attila Zoller (both from Austria) or Dusko Goykovich (from Yugoslavia). That bunch of German modernists congregated at the Domicile Du Jazz, a basement-turned-jazz-club founded in the early fifties by trumpeter Carlo Bohländer.

Organised by concert promotor, journalist and musician Horst Lippmann, the first editions of the festival featured mainly German musicians, in all styles ranging from Dixieland to Swing and of course Cool Jazz, the new style of jazz that the new generation of musicians played. Luckily, during the years, many recordings were made at the festival, and many of them were released by the Brunswick label. What follows is a selective list of the known released recordings (releases in traditional style are omitted). Some of them have been reissued on CD by the Bear Family label.



Various Artists – Deutsches Jazz Festival 1954 2×10″ (Brunswick, Germany)

01 Two Beat Stompers – Jennie’s Ball
02 Hugo Strasser Jump Combo – Flamingo
Personnel: Hugo Strasser (as), Jutta Hipp (p), Hans Kresse (b), Karl Sanner (d)
03 Hans Koller New Jazz Stars – Fine And Dandy
Personnel: Hans Koller (ts), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Dr. Roland Kovac (p), Shorty Roeder (b), Rudi Sehring (d)
04 Quartett der Edelhagen All Stars – Just You, Just Me
Personnel: Rolf Schneebiegl (tp), Helmut Reinhardt (bs), Werner Schulze (b), Bobby Schmidt (d)
05 Orchester Kurt Edelhagen – Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby
Personnel: Caterina Valente (voc), Hanne Wilfert, Klaus Mitschele, Rolf Schneebiegl, Siegfried Achtammer (tp), Heinz Hermannsdörfer, Helmut Hauck, Otto Bredl, Werner Beiz (tb), Franz von Klenck, Helmut Reinhardt (as), Kurt “Bubi” Aderhold, Paul Martin (ts), Johnny Feigl (bs),  Werner Drexler (p), Werner Schulze (b), Bobby Schmidt (d)
06 Jutta Hipp Combo – I Never Knew
Personnel: Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Joki Freund (ts), Jutta Hipp (p), Hans Kresse (b), Karl Sanner (d)
07 Fred Bunge Star Band – Creole Love Call
08 Rolf Kühn All Stars – September Song
Personnel: Rolf Kühn (cl), Paul Kühn (p), Johannes Rediske (g), Hans Last (b), Teddy Pâris (d)
09 Orchester Kurt Edelhagen – Jazz Time Riff
Personnel: same as 05, omit Caterina Valente
10 Paul Kuhn Quartet – Paul’s Festival Blues
Personnel: Paul Kuhn (p), Gerd Hühns (g), Hans Last (b), Hans Podehl (d)
11 Johannes Rediske – Lullaby Of Birdland
Personnel: Johannes Rediske (g), Lothar Noack (ts, cl), Alex Spychalski (p), Manfred Behrendt (b), Joe Glaser (d)
12 Heinz Schönberg Quinten – Klagita
Personnel: Herz Schönberger (cl), Erich Echt (p), Gerd Hühns (g), George de Gruyter (b), Hans Podehl (d)
13 Orchester Kurt Edelhagen – Festival Jump
Personnel: same as 05 with added solo’s by Otto Bredl, Emil Mangelsdorff, Carlo Bohländer, Paul Kuhn, Gerd Hühns, Heinz Schönberger, Joki Freund, Hugo Strasser, Franz von Klenck, Paul Martin, Rolf Schneebiegl, Paul Kühn and Caterina Valente.

Some recordings from the second edition of the Deutsches Jazz Festival were released by Brunswick on a double 10″ album. Most noteworthy are the early recordings by Jutta Hipp, the Hans Koller New Jazz Stars, Johannes Rediske and the Rolf Kühn All Stars (with Hans ‘James’ Last on bass). The same double 10″ was also released for the international market as ‘German Jazz Festival’, with a slightly moderated sleeve.


Das Is Jazz!

Decca DL 8229
Various Artists – Das Is Jazz! LP

A part of the 1954 recordings were also issued on this ‘Das Is Jazz!’ LP, an album released by Decca in the USA, intended to put the spotlight on the flourishing German jazz scene: Lullaby Of Birdland, September Song, Paul’s Festival Blues, I Never Knew, Frankfurt Special, Fine And Dandy where all released on the double 10″ album by Brunswick/Polydor.

A Hans Koller’s New Jazz Stars interpretation of Ack, Värmeland Du Sköna (the Swedish-folk-song-turned-jazz-standard better known as Dear Old Stockholm) was drawn from a Brunswick EP with Jutta Hipp’s Frankfurt Special on the b-side.


Brunswick  10 014 EPB

A1: Hans Koller New Jazz-Stars – Ack, Värmeland Du Sköna
Personnel: Hans Koller (ts), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Dr. Roland Kovac (p), Shorty Roeder (b), Rudi Sehring (d)

B1: Jutta Hipp Combo – Frankfurt Special
Personnel: Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Joki Freund (ts), Jutta Hipp (p), Hans Kresse (b), Karl Sanner (d)



1955 program booklet

For the third edition of the festival, Brunswick issued six EP’s, released in two boxes with three EP’s each.

Deutsches Jazz Festival 1955 EP

Brunswick 10 020 EPB

A1: Spree City Stompers – St. James Infirmary
Personnel: Hans-Wolf Schneider (tb), Werner Geisler (tp), Poldi Klein (cl), Eckhard Schmidt (p), Wolfgang Laade (b), Thomas Keck (d), Toby Fichelcher (voc)

B1: Two Beat Stompers – Panama
Personnel: Werner Rehm (tp), Dick Simon (tb), Werner Dies (cl), Robert Theobald (p), Gerd Schüttrumpf (bjo), Luis Freichel (sousaphon), Horst Lippmann (d)

B2: Two Beat Stompers – The Music Goes ‘Round And ‘Round
Personnel: Werner Rehm, Carlo Bohländer (tp), Dick Simon (tb), Werner Dies (cl), Robert Theobald (p), Gerd Schüttrumpf (bjo), Luis Freichel (sousaphon), Harry Schell (b), Horst Lippmann (d)

All three tracks are played in the traditional style and are of no interest to lovers of modern jazz, but they are included for completeness.

Deutsches Jazz Festival 1955 EP

Brunswick 10 021 EPB

A1: Glen Buschmann Quintet – Farewell Blues
Personnel: Glen Buschmann (cl), Dr. Klaus Meus (p), Pit Buschmann (g), Hans Hohagen (b), Siegfried Koszorski (d)

A2: Wolfgang Lauth Quartet – Cool March
Personnel: Wolfgang Lauth (p), Werner Pöhlert (g), Hans Kresse (b), Joe Hackbarth (d)

B1: Wolfgang Lauth Quartet – Cave Souvenir
Personnel: Wolfgang Lauth (p), Werner Pöhlert (g), Hans Kresse (b), Joe Hackbarth (d)

B2: Caterina Valente – Long, Long Journey
Personnel: Caterina Valente (voc, g), Silvio Francesco (cl), Werner Drexler (p), Werner Schultze (b), Silo Deutsch (d)

Wolfgang Lauth delivers his typical light, playful jazz with classical influences. The Glen Buschmann and Caterina Valente tracks are more in the traditional style.

Deutsches Jazz Festival 1955 EP

Brunswick 10 022 EPB

A1: Jutta Hipp Quintet – Hipp-noses
Personnel: Jutta Hipp (p), Joki Freund (ts), Attila Zoller (g), Branko Pejakovic (b), Karl Sanner (d)

B1: Albert Mangelsdorff & Attila Zoller – These Foolish Things
Personnel: Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Attila Zoller (g)

B2: Helmut Brandt Combo – The Breeze And I
Personnel: Helmut Brandt (bs), Conrad Jackel (tp), Ludwig Ebert (p), Klaus Gernhuber (b), Hans-Dieter Taubert (d)

Possibly the most interesting of all six EP’s, as it features Jutta Hipp with a classic Joki Freund composition, and of course a duo recording between Albert Mangelsdorff and Attila Zoller, quite an unusual set-up for that time, possibly an early sign of the experimental path both gentlemen would follow later in their careers. The Helmut Brandt track is a typical Mulliganesque recording with a beautiful solo by trumpeter Conny Jackel.

Deutsches Jazz Festival 1955 EP

Brunswick 10 023 EPB

A1: Heinz Schönberger Quintet – Embraceable You
Personnel: Heinz Schönberger (cl), Gerd Hühns (g), Erich Becht (p), George de Gruyter (b), Hans Podehl (d)

A2: Rolf Kühn Quintet – Frankfurt Blues (Now Is The Time)
Personnel: Rolf Kühn (cl), Kurt Becker (vib), Karl Sanner (d), rest of personnel strangely uncredited, but possibly George de Gruyter (b) and Paul Kuhn (p) (As based on the Bear Family CD Box)

B1: Harald Banter Ensemble – Nature Boy
B2: Harald Banter Ensemble – Tabu Jump
Personnel: Josef Keuser (tp), Hanns Porz (tb), Robby Schmitz (as), Werner Laufer (ts), Karl-Heinz Wiemeyer (french horn), Peter Aussem (fag), Kurt Becker (fl, vib), Heinz Hötter (p), Ferdy Klein (b), Werner Brock (d), Friedel Berlipp (perc)

A high light in Frankfurt Blues, a modified version of Charlie Parker‘s Now Is The Time played at high tempo. The Harald Banter Ensemble tracks are in the chamber jazz style, and Nature Boy is particularly beautiful.

Deutsches Jazz Festival 1955 EP

Brunswick 10 024 EPB

A1: Helmut Weglinski Quintet – Crazy Rhythm
Personnel: Helmut Weglinski (v), Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Klaus Sachs (p), Johnny Fischer (b), Heinz Rösel (d)

A2: Johannes Rediske Quintet – Boptical Illusion
Personnel: Johannes Rediske (g), Lothar Noack (ts, cl), Alex Spychalski (p), Manfred Behrendt (b), Joe Glaser (d)

B1: Freddy Christmann Quartet – Passé
Personnel: Freddy Christmann (tp), ‘Pepsi’ Auer (p), Alfred Meyer (b), Uwe Cuntz (d)

B2: Hans Koller New Jazz Stars – When Your Lover Has Gone
Personnel: Hans Koller (ts), Willi Sanner (bs), Dr. Roland Kovac (p), Johnny Fischer (b), Rudi Sehring (d)

Decent version of Crazy Rhythm, despite the use of the violin, with a nice solo by Emil Mangelsdorff. More interesting are Boptical Illusion by the Johannes Rediske Quintet from Berlin or the obscure Freddy Christmann Quartet with an original composition by pianist Josef ‘Pepsi’ Auer. And of course the mighty Hans Koller New Jazz Stars, this time performing a standard ballad.

Deutsches Jazz Festival 1955 EP

Brunswick 10 025 EPB

A1: Orchester Kurt Edelhagen – You Go To My Head
Personnel: Hanne Wilfert, Rolf Schneebiegl, Claus Mitschele, Siegfried Achermer (tp), Otto Bredl, Heinz Hermannsdörfer, Werner Betz, Helmut Hauck (tb), Franz von Klenck, Helmut Reinhardt (as), Paul Martin, Bubi Aderholt (ts), Johnny Feigl (bs), Werner Drexler (p), Werner Schultze (b), Silo Deutsch (d)

A2: Caterina Valente – My Funny Valentine
Personnel: Caterina Valente (voc), Rolf Schneebiegl (tp), Helmut Reinhardt (bs), Werner Schultze (b), Silo Deutsch (d)

B1: Orchester Erwin Lehn – Cool Street
Personnel: Horst Fischer, Georg Ernszt, Franz Bummerl, Eberhard Schmidt-Schultz (tp), Erns Mosch, Kurt Krause, Rudi Becher, Ferencz Lakatos (tb), Werner Baumgart, Karl-heinz Tischendorf (as), Gerald Weinkopf, Fritz Dautel (ts), Erns Machwitz (bs), Gerhard Wehner (p), Peter Witte (b), Hermann Mutschler (d)

B2: Orchester Kurt Edelhagen – Purple Hyacinth
Personnel: idem as A1, with Aderholt also on bongos.

The sixth and last EP is dedicated to the big names: singer Caterina Valente and the most famous orchestras of Germany of that era: Kurt Edelhagen and Erwin Lehn.

This is the booklet that is included in the EP box set, with photos and liner notes (click to enlarge):



In 1956 too, Brunswick released recordings of the festival, but unlike the preceding years, they were not issued in connection to each other.

Frankfurt Allstars - Vier Temperamente

Brunswick 10 059 EPB
Frankfurt Allstars – Vier Temperamente
Personnel: Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Dusko Gojkovic (tp), Joki Freund (ts), Karl Blume (bs), Charly Petri (bcl, cl), Louis Freichel (p), Harry Schell (b), Karl Sanner (d)

The first EP that Brunswick issued, is actually an anomaly as it was not recorded live at the festival. It’s a studio recording by an all star group, assembled for the occasion of, and recorded during, the festival. Vier Temperamente, which covers both sides of the EP, is a four part suite composed by Walter ‘Joki’ Freund that puts the focus on four great soloists: Albert Mangelsdorff, Emil Mangelsdorff, Dusko Gojkovic and Joki Freund himself.


Brunswick 10 062 EPB
Festival Special

A1 Fred Bunge Ensemble – Basement Party
Personnel: Fred Bunge (tp), Christian Kellens (tuba), Marcel Peeters (as), Alex Scorier (bs), Joe Klimm (p), Herbert Winter (b), Teddy Paris (d)

A German/Belgian combo led by Fred Bunge, playing a composition by pianist Joe Klimm. Klimm and Christian Kellens had already played together in the Jack Sels band in 1952 when it was touring the US army bases in West Germany.

A2 Vera Auer Combo – Dot’s Groovy
Personnel: Vera Auer (vib), Jean-Louis Chautemps (ts), Klaus Sachs (p), Eddie de Haas (b), ‘Shorty’ Langenbach (d)

Another partly international group, with Jean-Louis Chautemps from France and Eddie de Haas from The Netherlands. The group, led by the Viennese vibraphone player Vera Auer, is recorded here for the first time. Auer started her career with Atilla Zoller in Austria, before moving to Frankfurt. In the 1960s, she relocated to the USA.

B1 Sound Cave Combo – Cool Doodle
Personnel: Egon Denue (tp), Fritz Hartschuh (vib), Wolfgang Wagner (b), Horst Seidelmann (d)

As far as I know this is the only recording of the Sound Cave Combo, a band that was formed in Fritz Rau’s jazz cave in Heidelberg. Hartschuh, Wagner and Seidelmann would later all play with Wolfgang Lauth.

B2 Helmut Weglinski Quintet – Avalon
Personnel: Helmut Weglinski (violin), Flip Gehring (vib), Peter Grzeschik (g), Jan Thomè (b), Hans Hoitz (d)

New-Orleans style.

Cool Breeze

Brunswick 10 063 EPB
Cool Breeze

A1: Jochen Brauer Sextet – Fritz In Heaven
A2: Jochen Brauer Sextet – This Isn’t True
Personnel: Peter Kuchta (tp), Jochen Brauer (as), Klaus Matschinsky (bs), Etzel Pfrommer (p), Kurt Richter (b), Hellmut Grassmeyer (d)

B1: New Jazz Group Hannover – Ghost Of A Chance
B2: New Jazz Group Hannover – ‘s Wonderful
Personnel: Bernd Rabe (as), Gert Mann (p, vib), Heinz Kitschenberg (g), Eberhard Pommerenke (b), Helmut Perschke (d)

Cool Breeze is the name of a split EP by two more obscure combo’s. The first a sextet led by Jochen Brauer, a saxophonist originally from East Germany, who debuts here with two cool jazz tunes. Fritz In Heaven is dedicated to concert promotor Fritz Rau and his jazz club Cave 54 in Heidelberg. In the following years, Jochen Brauer was forced to work more in the field of commercial and light music. The New Jazz Group Hannover emerged on the German jazz scene in 1955, after appearing at the jazz festival in Frankfurt. That same year, they recorded with American trombone player Bill Russo. In 1956 they appeared at the festival again, this time resulting in these recordings for Brunswick.

Rear of the sleeve, autographed by the band members of the New Jazz Group Hannover

Rear of the sleeve, autographed by the band members of the New Jazz Group Hannover


Brunswick 10 065 EPB
Jazz à La Carte

A1: Helmut Brandt Combo – Yesterdays
Personnel: Helmut Brandt (bs), Conny Jackel (tp), Ludwig Ebert (p), Klaus Gernhuber (b), Hans-Dieter Taubert (d)
A2: Wolfgang Lauth Quartet – Go
Personnel: Wolfgang Lauth (p), Werner Pöhlert (g), Hans Kresse (b), Joe Hackbarth (d)

B1: Karl Drewo/Joe Zawinul/Bill Grah – Zoot
Personnel: Karl Drewo (ts), Bill Grah (vib), Joe Zawinul (p), Heinz Grah (b), Bob Blumenhoven (d)

This recording kicks off with the Jerome Kern standard Yesterdays, which Helmut Brandt turns into a fierce battle with trumpeter Conny Jackel. Wolfgang Lauth’s contribution Go is reminiscent of the Modern Jazz Quartet, while the B-sides comprises the cream of the Vienna jazz scene, with Karl Drewo, Joe Zawinul (Weather Report, anyone?) and Bill Grah (although the latter was actually from German descent, but lived in Vienna since 1954). They’re aided by Bill’s brother Heinz on bass and Bob Blumenhoven on drums.



Spread over four days from 7 until 10 June 1957, the fifth edition of the festival hosted concerts by the usual suspects of the Frankfurt jazz scene (Kurt Edelhagen, Albert Mangelsdorff, Hans Koller, Helmut Brandt, Joki Freund…) as well as a few international guests: Michel Hausser, Hazy Osterwald and two orchestras of the US army. Here is the complete program booklet of the 1957 edition:

DJF1957program01 DJF1957program02 DJF1957program03DJF1957program04

An overview of the four day festival. Note that every day ends with a jam session at the Domicile Du Jazz.


In the 1950s, Kurt Edelhagen’s big band was a haven for expatriate musicians from all over Europe: Jimmy Deuchar (UK), Dusko Gojkovic (Yugoslavia), Christian Kellens, Francis Coppieters (Belgium), Stuff Combe (Switzerland), …

DJF1957program08 DJF1957program09DJF1957program10

Just as interesting it is to see all the big names from the German jazz scene on the same bill, is to see some lesser known and really obscure names like the Werner Heider Sextet, Percussion Studio Ensemble, Egon Denu Quintet or the Heinz Allhoff New Jazz Quintet.

DJF1957program11DJF1957program12DJF1957program13DJF1957program14DJF1957program15DJF1957program16a DJF1957program16

5DeutschesJazzFestival10_correction5DeutschesJazzFestival14_correctionAdditional info: in a second copy of this booklet I found, the previous owner made two interesting notes, concerning two concerts that were cancelled. Next to the solo concert by Caterina Valente, he has written ‘ausgefallen’ (cancelled), and next to the Michel Hausser concert he has written ‘Werner Poehlert (or Pöhlert) Quintett’. Pöhlert was a guitar player and Wolfgang Lauth sideman.

Freund-Mangelsdorff Sextet

Brunswick 10 804 EPB
Freund-Mangelsdorff Sextett

A1: Domicile
B1: Three Lines
Personnel: Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Emil Mangelsdorff (as), Joki Freund (ts), Pepsi Auer (p) Marcel Rigot (b), Rudi Sehring (d)

A German modern jazz classic if ever there was one, Domicile pays hommage to the Domicile Du Jazz, that aforementioned mythical jazz basement, where the musicians hung out and jammed until the wee hours of the morning after the regular programme of the festival was finished. The Joki Freund penned tune is a subtle, yet steadily swinging groove that leaves ample place for solo’s by the Mangelsdorff Brothers. Both Domicile and the Pepsi Auer original Three Lines on the B-side are supreme examples of European cool jazz.

Horst Jankowsky

Brunswick 10 805 EPB
Horst Jankowsky Trio/Quintett

A1: Horst Jankowsky Trio – Improvisation
Personnel: Horst Jankowsky (p), Peter Witte (b), Hermann Mutschler (d)

B1: Horst Jankowsky Quintet – Der Holzwurm
Personnel: Werner Baumgart (oboe), Gerald Weinkopf (fl), Horst Jankowsky (p), Peter Witte (b), Hermann Mutschler (d)

Before becoming world famous with his easy listening hit A Walk In The Black Forest, Horst Jankowsky (or Jankowski) was a terrific jazz pianist who performed at the 1957 festival with both a trio and a quintet. His piano virtuosity is showcased in a trio improvisation on the A-side, while Der Holzwurm is a light, playful swinging piece that starts with a haunting theme before the interesting solos by Baumgart and Weinkopf take over.

Jazz-Festival mit Hazy Osterwald

Heliodor 46 0032
Jazz-Festival mit Hazy Osterwald

A1: Royal Flash
A2: Tomahawk
Personnel: Hazy Osterwald (tp), Curt Prina (tb), Dennis Armitage (ts), Werner Dies (as), Sunny Lang (b), John Ward (d)

B1: China Boy
Personnel: Werner Dies (cl), Curt Prina (vib), Dennis Armitage (p), Sunny Lang (b), John Ward (d)

Long before Swiss trumpeter and orchestra leader Hazy Osterwald got famous with his pop music, he led one of the finest jazz combos in Switzerland. In 1957, his sextet performed at the German jazz festival, a recording of which was released on this Heliodor EP (I’m not sure if there are other pressings, but I believe not). Tomahawk (a Curt Prina original) is a strong hard bop tune. Also interesting to see is how most band members were multi-instrumentalists: on the B-side, Werner Dies switches from alto to clarinet, Dennis Armitage from tenor to piano and Curt Prina from trombone to vibraphone as if it were nothing.


Hans Koller New Jazz Stars

Brunswick 10 811 EPB
The new Hans Koller New Jazz Stars featuring Albert Mangelsdorff

A1: Saba
A2: I’ll Never Be The Same
B1: If I Had You
Personnel: Hans Koller (ts), Albert Mangelsdorff (tb), Hans Hammerschmidt (p), Peter Trunk (b), Rudi Sehring (d)

By the late 1950s, Austrian Hans Koller had become the superstar of the German jazz scene. His ‘New Jazz Stars’ had gone through some changes and in the company of Hans Hammerschmidt, Peter Trunk, Rudi Sehring and Albert Mangelsdorff (who himself too, was getting wider and wider recognition, hence his name featured on the sleeve), he was in top form on this recording, wether it’s the uptempo Saba (a Koller original) or the ballad I’ll Never Be The Same.

The other Brunswick releases from the 1958 festival are all in the traditional style and of no interest. There is a Benno Walldorff EP (Brunswick 10 810 EPB) that features Albert Mangelsdorff, however this too is a traditional recording.


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