George Gruntz – St Peter Power (1968/2017) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

George Gruntz – St Peter Power (1968/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 31:23 minutes | 584 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © MPS

The church organ’s role in classical music runs from Buxtahude and Bach on through to such contemporary composers as Hindemith and Messian, but jazz musicians have tended to stay clear of this mighty instrument and its orchestral power. Not so Swiss jazz maestro George Grunz; on this 1968 MPS album, accompanied by two European jazz masters, bassist Eberhard Weber and drummer Daniel Humair, Gruntz utilizes the organ as “a vehicle to elevate some of the most beautiful ballad-like melodies to a world of sound completely new to jazz”.

Benny Golson’s elegiac tribute to trumpet icon Clifford Brown I Remember Clifford, Billie Holiday’s poignant God Bless the Child, the Spiritual Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, and Carla Bley’s Jesus Maria find a natural home in this Church setting. And a languorous version of Summertime, Grüntz’s poignant interpretation of Ornette Coleman’s Lonely Woman, the loving care given to the classic standard My Funny Valentine, the pathos of You Don’t Know What Love Is, the bright swing of John Lewis’ tribute to the legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, and the baroque chordal play that permeates Yesterdays ring clear and true in this ecclesiastical setting. Playing on a three-manual Baroque organ built for the St. Peter Abbey Church in Germany’s Black Forest by the world-famous Klais Orgelbau, Grüntz has transposed the spiritual passion of jazz onto the church organ.

01 – I’ll Remember Clifford
02 – Summertime
03 – God Bless the Child
04 – Lonely Woman
05 – My Funny Valentine
06 – You Don’t Know What Love Is
07 – Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen
08 – Django
09 – Yesterdays
10 – Jesus Maria

Produced by Joachim Ernst Berendt. Recorded by Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer.
Recorded on July 15 & 16, 1968 at the Kloster- und Pfarrkirche St. Peter, Black Forest, Germany.
Digitally Remastered.

George Gruntz – organ
Eberhard Weber – bass
Daniel Humair – drums