Erna Schmidt - Live '69 - '71

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Garden Of Delights
Catalog Number: CD 048
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:32:00

This release by Erna Schmidt, on the Garden Of Delights label, represents the first and only release from the band, recorded live over the years 1968 - 1971 (though mostly from 1970). The band broke up on the cusp of recording their first album. They were first known as R & B Corporation, forming in 1963. In 1965, guitarist Hubert Stütz joined the band. With the departure of two members, Manfred Gartner and Lutz Baumann (both guitarists), the bands musical direction moved toward Hendrix, in part owing to Stütz own direction. At one time the band was a sextet, with a second drummer (Rolf Schiegl), pianist/flautist (Sam Drake), and an organist (Romi Schickle). And, on occasion, a brass section comprising Dieter Seelow and Günther Reger would join in, as would Peter Mayer on vibraphone. The line up for most of this set is: Hubert Stütz on guitar; Hartmut Mau on flute, sax, oboe and ocarina; Walter Laible on bass, and Wolfgang Mathias on drums and percussion. As you might expect, the extensive liner notes detail the history of the band, plus there are several pictures of the band. The sound quality on this disk is so clear that one only realizes that it is a live recording when the audience applauds. The pieces on this live document are part composition, part improv, but everything meshes so well, it's hard to tell.

Hubert Stütz plays some fantastic, taut, bluesy leads, making this an air-guitarists delight. His style does owe a lot to Hendrix, but not only Hendrix, as I think of Eric Clapton at times at well. As Cream is mentioned as an "example" to follow, this is not surprising. There are so many great moments here -- the high energy of "Ein Tag Aus Dem Leben Des Menschen P," for example. A hard blues rocker where Stütz just lets loose... as does drummer Wolfgang Mathias, who gets to solo about two-thirds of the way in. "Rulaman" which is a foot-tapper -- nay, a foot-dancer -- with Middle Eastern phrasing. The Led Zeppelin-esque "La Folle D'Espagne." "Erna Schmidt" is a signature piece that hints at all the directions the band will be taking with the rest of the tracks, including both rock and pastoral passages, giving focus to guitars and flutes, without overshadowing the contributions by bass and drums. This track itself builds and builds into a flurry of hard driving sound. "Woischwiemoin" is another standout track, a slow, bluesy number.

There were moments on this release where I also thought of The Guess Who, The Beatles, and Jethro Tull, though with the latter, I have to admit it was mainly due to the flute playing of Hartmut Mau (on "La Folle D'Espange"). "Kleines Idyll" begins with Mau on flute, creating a very pastoral setting; this made me think of The Guess Who's "Share The Land," but this quickly goes off into a different direction. A quickly paced wah-wahed guitar workout, with flute just audible in the background, concluding in a manner that hints at "Strawberry Fields," though I don't think this is deliberate, as the The Guess Whoness of it also remains. Mau's flute is very sweet, and very clear.

Erna Schmidt had the stuff, that's for sure. This album is proof of that. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this, and recommend it not only to Krautrock fans, but also to fans of music in general.

Erna Schmidt (7:20) / Weiss Gott (3:57) / Pass - weites Luftmeer (5:00) / Woischwiemoin (5:25) / La Folle D'Espagne (7:02) / Kleines Idyll (4:51) / Rulaman (6:44) / Ein Tag Aus Dem Leben Des Menschen P. (9:25) / Reif Für Die Insel (5:31) / See Ya (3:50)

Hubert Stütz - guitar
Hartmut Mau - flute, sax, oboe and ocarina
Walter Laible - bass
Wolfgang Mathias - drums and percussion

Live '69 - '71 (2000)

Genre: Krautrock

Origin DE

Added: October 26th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1157
Language: english


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