REMEMBER YATRA – Albrecht Maurer
CATALOG nemu 024
Albrecht Maurer - violin
Charlie Mariano - soprano & alto saxophone
Christopher Dell - vibraphone
Christian Ramond - double bass
Klaus Kugel - drums, percussion
The term Yatra (यात्रा yātrā) originally means pilgrimage in Indian. Yatra is also the name of a now almost forgotten festival in India, starting in the late 1960's where jazz musicians and musicians from Asia came together. For me, Yatra is a symbol of my personal musical pilgrimage with all of its diversity.
Recorded and mixed October 1997 at Gasthaus Scheiderhöhe, Lohmar, by students of Professor Werner Roth, Robert Schumann Hochschule, Düsseldorf. Mastered by Holger Urbach, Ratingen and Reinhard Kobialka, Topaz Studio, Cologne. Graphic Design by Albrecht Maurer. Translation by Nathan Bontrager.
Mandalas, free-mandalas.net. Produced by Albrecht Maurer ℗ + © 2020 All rights reserved! Made in Germany.
These recordings are a rarity as well as an important milestone along my own life’s path. They were recorded at a small festival in the backcountry near Cologne. Acting on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and the local music and arts school, I organized the festival, called the Lohmarer Jazz Festival, including programming the entire lineup. My contribution in that year, 1997, was dedicated to the theme “Jazz Meets the World”. I was preoccupied with Indian music and had read Joachim-Ernst Berendt’s writings about the Yatra Festival in India which is now considered a cradle of World Music.In addition, I wanted to allow for the influence of European art music.For this purpose, I put together the quintet one hears on this CD which also allowed me to bring in Charlie Mariano.His life speaks for itself and the experience of meeting and working with him was deep and brought me great happiness.I met with Charlie beforehand in Cologne and, after showing him my pieces, asked if he would also want to contribute. The resulting repertoire created both our concert program and what one hears on this record.As I was already playing as a trio with Klaus Kugel and Christian Ramond, we were able to test things out ahead of time.Christopher Dell was fairly new to Cologne at the time and, despite knowing him then only by name, it was a great joy to experience his playing. We rehearsed finally all together then met again the afternoon of the concert on stage.Professor Werner Roth from the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf came along with 5 or 6 of his students and a cart loaded with recording equipment.They asked question after question, set up the necessary equipment in the barn and made this wonderful live recording.Years later I have come back to this artifact (thanks, Corona!) and am astounded by what we achieved having had only one rehearsal together.The music has a natural flow yet one feels the intensity and alertness of each musician. Remember Yatra appeared in 1996 as part of the Yatra Suite.The piece’s main theme interconnects two melody instruments and soprano saxophone with violin seemed ideal to me. In particular, I could hear Charlie in this piece and so suggested it to him.Standing Stones and Natrushka are based on two improvisations from the album Juillaguet Collection (Emanem 4033),
a duo record I made with Kent Carter in August 1996.For the festival quintet I expanded upon extant thematic material from the duo. La Badenfahrt I wrote while taking part, in August 1997, in the Swiss “Badenfahrt”.Avoid the Year of the Monkey, written by Charlie Mariano, is influenced by Chinese horoscopes and can be heard on his record, Hellen 12 Trees.Yagapriya, from the singer R.A. Ramamani, based on the south Indian Raga known as Yagapriya and Mishra Chappu Tala. Encore for Two was an encore played by Charlie Mariano and myself where we tossed melodic ideas back and forth and found our own, personal groove.Around 250 listeners showed up for the performance on that evening and the house restaurant was running at full blast.We had no backstage area and the culinary fervor and organisational chaos left us musicians with empty plates and me with a spinning head.As I have since learned, being overwhelmed and exhausted can prove invaluable for producing such a special concert.
Albrecht Maurer, Cologne, April 2020