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Jazz saxophonist: Emil Mangelsdorff is dead


In his youth, his favorite music was considered subversive, then he was imprisoned by the Nazis as a "wehrmacht decomposer": Jazz musician Emil Mangelsdorff has now died at the age of 96.

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Emil Mangelsdorff in front of Holzhausen-Schlösschen: The Frankfurt saxophonist died at the age of 96

Photo: Christoph Schmidt / picture alliance / dpa

The jazz world mourns Emil Mangelsdorff: The Frankfurt saxophonist died in his hometown at the age of 96, as announced by the Hessian State Chancellery and Frankfurt Mayor Peter Feldmann.

According to the Darmstadt Jazz Institute, Mangelsdorff died on Thursday.

"Together with the German jazz scene, I mourn the loss of one of their most distinguished and renowned soloists," said Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens).

"He and his brother discovered their love for jazz early on - at a time when anyone who listened to jazz or even played it themselves risked severe penalties." Mangelsdorff's music and his work were remembered.

The Prime Minister of Hesse, Volker Bouffier (CDU), also acknowledged that Emil Mangelsdorff "not only made a contribution to culture in Hesse, but also did valuable work to commemorate the darkest hours of German history".

In 2015, the jazz musician received an honorary professorship from the state of Hesse.

The Mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann (SPD), wrote that Mangelsdorff was a pioneer for jazz and a formative influence on his hometown of Frankfurt.

"With him we are also losing a contemporary witness of the Nazi era, who felt firsthand what it meant to resist the regime as an artist." recently achieved an incredible amount for Frankfurt«.

The »Tiger Rag« became »The Lion Hunt in the Taunus«

Emil Mangelsdorff was the older brother of jazz musician Albert Mangelsdorff (1928-2005), whose instrument of choice was the trombone.

The two went their separate ways musically, but also played together again and again.

As a teenager, the native of Frankfurt found out that his favorite music was considered subversive: in the Nazi regime, despite being forbidden, he played American swing with friends in the back room of a Frankfurt hotel.

So that the police would not become suspicious, the jazz titles were »Germanized«.

The »Tiger Rag« became »The Lion Hunt in the Taunus«, from the »St.

Louis Blues« the »St. Ludwigs-Serenade«.

Throughout his life, Mangelsdorff saw himself as a radical democrat.

As a contemporary witness, he reported to young people about exclusion and oppression in the Nazi regime.

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At Hoch's conservatory in Frankfurt, Mangelsdorff studied the clarinet before he was imprisoned for a short time in 1943 and sent to the Eastern Front in 1944.

Emil Mangelsdorff was influenced by swing and bebop.

His role models: Charlie Parker and Lee Konitz, who was often a guest of Mangelsdorff in Frankfurt.

He played together with Charles Mingus in New York.

Mangelsdorff also loved so-called classical music – his first wife Simone, who died in 1973, was an opera singer.

He brought his special sound to bands with names like Two Beat Stompers or Frankfurt All Stars.

In 1966 he founded the Swinging Oil Drops.

Mangelsdorff performed at concerts throughout Germany.

Even in old age he played regularly with his quartet in Frankfurt's Holzhausen-Schlösschen.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-01-22

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