Most of you won’t know him, but this was Germany’s best jazz pianist, bar none.
When he started singing, well, uhm, no.
But, I saw this guy live more times than anyone else, always in a trio setting.
Anecdote: I traveled to the King Kamehameha Club in Frankfurt, Germany regularly whenever he appeared there, or to Hamburg, or to Stuttgart, or to Munich, or … .
I became a regular and we often talked, until the sun came up.
He loved to ask the audience to name any jazz tune (standards and somewhat known tunes) and he would play them. Every single time.
It became a running gag between us that whenever I was at a concert, I tried to trip him up. You know, a tune he wouldn’t know.
A few months before a concert we talked about some Scandinavian jazz musicians (lots of them) and at the next concert I yelled out my favorite by the Casper Villaume Quartet (from their debut album) from Denmark.
He raised his eyebrows for a second, then smiled a broad smile… and launched into a rousing rendition of said tune. He was prepared. I have no idea how many albums he had studied in the meantime, but lots of them …
He was the greatest and I miss him.