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Interview with German trumpet player Ruediger Baldauf
Ruediger Baldauf just released his first solo album. He is one of the most versatile instrumentalists in the German jazz scene. He played with Joe Zawinul, Maceo Parker, George Duke, John Scofield.
Ruediger Baldauf: First of all: thanks to all the crazy folks who bought my album. I am absolutely happy about the big interest and i didn’t actually expect the album to start that briliantly. Of course I knew that this was a very special production but this fact is not necessarily a guarantee that people will like it. I think that instrumental music is increasingly successful these days, and we have been analysing that folks spend some money for these little silver discs again to hold it in their hands and to support their artists.
Yamaha: A lot of prominent musicians play on your album. What do you think ist he reason they all came into the studio for „Own Style“?
R.B.: I have a personal relation to any of these musicians, e.g. Ack van Rooyen. We played many concerts and taught young musicians in our common workshops. Some day Ack asked me to accompany him to the United Rock and Jazz Ensemble because Kenny Wheeler was unable to play. That was in 1999 and again in 2002. For me it was a real big honour to play with them. I was the youngest player in the band, and I had the chance to really look back into the music of the 70ies.
Till Broenner and I have been friends, too, for years. Both of us are Yamaha artists. And we often communicate and discuss how to play and improve.
I know Niels Landgren since 15 years or so, and I simply asked him to play a solo for my new album. Which he did, thank you Niels! He is very busy and always on the road so he recorded the solo somewhere in Portable Studio.
Andy Haderer and I have been friends for more than 25 years.
They all know me and my music, and they and we all knew that we will record a fine piece of music on this album which we will like to listen to.
Yamaha: Your album seems to find quite a lot of fans. Are they all jazz fans?
R.B.: On the one hand: yes. But on the other hand my aim was to reach people who simply love listening to good music, good sound and good groove. We have been working hard with a brilliant team of producers and sound engineers to find the right sound and the right groove.
Yamaha : How do you write titles like e.g. „My Song“?
R.B.: (laughs) I started being very frustrated. It has been annoying me for years and years that people keep stealing music from other people and that they keep having success with it. So I decided to exaggerate this system of music robbery: by stealing licks and riffs from several funk classics I put together a „new title“. I added a text which was to explain this concept to the listeners. First I decided to record this with a black rapper
to make it authentic. But then I found out that I will have to explain this concept myself to be really authentic. Otherwise this wouldn’t be authentic. Sorry, do you have an idea of what I am talking about here ? (laughs)
Yamaha: You have finished your studies of classical music. Did this take any influence on your development?
R.B.: Well, it took me some kind of freedom so it bothered me in a way. Classical trumpet players are not allowed to play without notes. You may be good at improvisation but you are never allowed to practice this. But this is only one side of the medal.
On the technical side, range, phrases, flexibility, the classical education makes you very strong. For trumpet players good technical skills and knowledge are necessary and inevitable.
Yamaha: Will you play live concerts?
R.B.: Yes, we will play in Schifferstadt, during the Open Air Jazz Festival, on August 22, with quite a lot of our „Own Style“ crew. I am not sure if I can afford this in the long run. (laughs)
Yamaha: Thank you.
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Ruediger Baldauf was born in Cologne/Germany in 1961. After having finished his classical studies he started a private jazz education, concentrating on big band and lead trumpet. He now is one of the most versatile instrumentalists in the German jazz scene. He has been playing with the RTL Saturday Night Show, with the United Rock & Jazz Ensemble, with the WDR Big Band and all the other German professional Big Bands.
He accompanied Shirley Bassey, Joe Zawinul, Maceo Parker and played recordings with George Duke, Ray Charles, Mel Lewis, Phil Woods, Bob Brookmeyer, John Scofield, James Brown, Dionne Warwick and many others.
Ruediger has been professor at the conservatoire Cologne/Aachen.
Since 2003 he has been playing with the “Heavytones”
In 2010 he released his first solo album “Own Style”.