HAPPY BIRTHDAY KLAUS DOLDINGER!
May 12th is Klaus Doldinger’s 70th birthday, and - as has been his habit in the last 50 years - he will be celebrating it on stage, not one to miss a chance to show his younger fellow musicians "the ropes".
Among the qualities that distinguish him from many colleagues, are his impressive presence on stage, and especially his great talent as a composer. A large number of his compositions, first and foremost his work for films and television, have reached an audience way beyond the inner circle of jazz aficionados.
I first heard Klaus Doldinger with the "Feetwarmers" and "Oscar’s Trio" when I was a young man. This was in 1950’s Düsseldorf, where he was playing at the local amateur jazz festival. We met personally in 1962 also in Düsseldorf. I had just been made Label Manager at Phillips, had no experience in producing music, and was crazy enough to offer to produce a record with the newly founded "Klaus Doldinger Quartett". After I had worked on my boss to convince him (No easy task, this!), I finally got his OK. We started work on "Doldinger-Jazz Made in Germany" on December the 17th 1962 at the Phillips Studio in Hamburg Harburg. This was to become the first internationally successful album by a German jazz band - the Americans named the album "Dig Doldinger". In the following years we recorded more than twenty albums together.
Klaus Doldinger started being his own producer in 1971, and travelled the world with PASSSPORT. It is astonishing to remind oneself of the many musicians who are well known today, and who had their first break with, and received some finishing touches from, Klaus Doldinger. Wolfgang Haffner – today Germany’s number one jazz drummer joined the group in 1989. A year later Doldinger signed a very young Roberto Di Gioia on Haffner’s recommendation. The lively magician at the keyboard is still part of the working band, and next to nobody knows Doldinger’s compositions as well as Di Gioia, who played on countless of the original studio sessions. I was hanging out with Roberto and Wolfgang, trying to think up a pleasant surprise for Klaus’ 70th birthday, when the idea to "Abracadabra" was born. We hope this recording brings pleasure to the many Doldinger fans and to the composer himself.
Happy birthday Klaus!