East Village, New
March 31, 2009
composer, vibraphonist, bass clarinetist, and inexorable life force shared his
living room with me for another fun, deep and delightful conversation about
his experiences with Thelonious Monk, Hans Werner Henze, Wolfgang Fortner, Manfred
Schoof, Willem Breuker and others from early in his career.
talk evolved to Hampel's successful music education programs, working with European
rappers and breakdancers, new and old ESP-disk' stories, and the continuation
of his own Birth Records label, started in 1968.
Lots of name-dropping
and star-gazing, from the ancient to the future, and the present, which includes
a well-received 2009 solo set at the Bowery Poetry Club, available on DVD.
Although we didn't
discuss it here, Hampel was bicycling downtown when the first plane hit the
WTC. Profoundly disturbed, naturally, it drove him, as it did so many other
musicians and artists, to witness, to write narratives of what he experienced,
and to immediately join others to make more music in order to continue the creation
of positive energy in our world.
For a good sense
of Gunter Hampel's musical history, read the interview I did with him nearly
ten years ago in AllAboutJazz.com
It's well worth
a visit to his own website, gunterhampelmusic.de/
where you can find his tour itineraries, audio clips, as well as a complete
catalog of original vinyl, CDs and DVDs. (Hint for collectors: The German vinyl
pressings have always been excellent.)
At the intermission
of his concert with the Walter Thompson Orchestra tonight, reedman, composer
and improv systems forefather Anthony Braxton tells me, looking straight in
my eyes, "Tell Gunter I love him. I love him. He's my Countryman; he'll
know what I mean. He's a great spirit. He's one of the earliest originators
of... all this..." and not enough people appreciate his contribution, Braxton
says, glowing from the music permeating the air.
Part One: Monk, Henze, Fortner, Breuker, Energies, Jazz Education for Youth
Two: Music Education, Bernard Stollman, ESP, Breakdancers - 37:16