For decades I presented current, relevant, outstanding and challenging records in my radio program at Bayerischer Rundfunk (the "Zündfunk" addressed to a young audience). Compared to my listening habits at home, jazz remained underrepresented for a long time. It always seemed to me as if it was a private problem, so to speak, that I had never stopped listening to, admiring and adoring jazz since the beginning of my puberty (there was a poster of Bix Beiderbecke hanging over my bed). At 15, I had seen Thelonious Monk live (just before he fell silent forever). In the early 1980s, Sun Ra was the first musician I interviewed for radio. And whose records I also played on my show. The Sun Ra Arkestra had a relevance that could be put to wonderful use with the post punk music that I was following as a current trend at the time. Later, I found in Carl Craig's Detroit Techno (albeit programmed) structurally what jazz meant to me, even an equivalent to Monk in Theo Parrish (I had also found that in Delta Blues with Junior Kimbrough), all of which fit perfectly with the emerging discourses on the postcolonial Black Atlantic. And logically, gems like Georgia Anne Muldrow's albums kept coming out that were absolutely up-to-date. But it took me even longer to fill entire shows with albums that explicitly wanted to be understood as jazz. It's Chicago's "International Anthem" label that took my breath away right away with its releases that were both innovative and in the jazz canon, for example, from Jamie Branch, who died young a few weeks ago (and would have played in Ludwigshafen on October 10), the incomparable (much more than just) trumpeter Ben Lamar Gay, for whose concert I' ll be traveling to Mannheim on November 3, as well as Makaya McCraven on November 10. Alabaster dePlume also releases on "International Anthem", I would say "Jazz / not Jazz". Also very great. He's playing in Ludwigshafen on October 12.
Thomas Meinecke, born in Hamburg in 1955, is a writer, musician and radio DJ. He has been a guest at the Enjoy Jazz Festival several times, most recently in 2019 as a discussion partner of festival director Rainer Kern in the series "Learn to Enjoy Jazz".
Date: October 7 , 2022