Sunday, 18 February 2018

Inge Brandenburg born 18 February 1929

Inge Brandenburg (born February 18, 1929 in Leipzig , died February 23, 1999 in Munich) was a German jazz singer and theatre actress .  She is often referred to as the best German jazz singer of the 1960s.

Inge Brandenburg was born as one of six children in a broken family, in which violence and strife prevailed.  Her father, a communist and in the First World War conscientious objector, was imprisoned in 1939 in the Mauthausen concentration camp, where he later died,. Her mother was called "asocial" in Ravensbrück concentration camp interned and died there in 1945 shortly before the end of the war.  The siblings were separated from each other and housed in various children's homes, which Inge Brandenburg spent the greater part of her youth in homes in Dessau and Bernburg.  

Immediately after the end of the war she fled to the American zone to Hof , where she was imprisoned for several months as a rambler.  Then she went to Augsburg. There she worked in a bakery, learning to play the piano and first came into contact with jazz in the city's GI clubs.  She successfully applied to a newspaper advertisement of a dance orchestra, which was looking for a singer and tingled after her move to Frankfurt am Main with
that by German nightclubs and dance halls.  
As an autodidact she developed increasingly into an outstanding jazz interpreter and undertook an eight-month tour to Sweden, which was crowned with success (originally planned only four weeks).  Back in Germany, the breakthrough came in 1958 at the German Jazz Festival; the critics also prophesied a great future for her.  She got her first recording contract and sang, appreciated for the dark timbre of her voice and her excellent timing, soon with the first jazz guards.  
At the European Music Festival in Antibes in 1960, she was honoured as the "Best European Jazz Singer".  The collaboration with Hans Koller , Albert Mangelsdorff , Emil Mangelsdorff , Helmut Brandt and the orchestras of Kurt Edelhagen and Erwin Lehn consolidated their reputation as the best West German jazz
singer;  she mainly sang in swing idiom and blues pieces.  Her interpretation of Lover Man allegedly made her "legendary" in 1960: "Undeterred by the overwhelming vocal recordings that were already available at that time, the young German sang her soul with individual phrasing and a soulful, dark voice."  

In the early 1960s, Inge Brandenburg was managed by AFN host Charlie Hickman, who gave her the first television appearances, including Ted Heath (1962).  She toured with the Gunter Hampel Group in 1965 and interpreted Ornette Coleman pieces like Lonely Woman.  In 1968 she went on tour with the trio of Wolfgang Dauner. Record labels released a few recordings with her, but they preferred to record hit-and- miss songs, which she was not prepared to do.  After her futile attempt to force the labels in court, as originally agreed to release jazz recordings with her, she was "burned" in the industry.  Due to her alcohol consumption and bad nature she received only a few commitments, so that she later played mostly theatre. 

In 1976 she sang again at a jazz festival in Würzburg, 1974 and 1976 in the gully in Frankfurt am Main, 1985 in Frankfurt am Main) and Brewhouse in Stuttgart with the Peter Mayer Quartet and Jan Jankeje .  After that, she withdrew completely because of the difficult economic situation in the music market. 

After the end of career Brandenburg slipped into deeper alcohol problems, in addition there were problems with their vocal cords.  In 1990 she underwent surgery.  In the mid-nineties, she tried a comeback - supported by Gerry Hayes and Charly Antolini , with the trios of pianists Walter Lang and Heinz Frommeyer, which, however, failed.

Impoverished, she died in 1999 in Schwabing hospital. Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Her grave is located on the Munich North Cemetery.  (Edited from a German Wikipedia translation)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Inge Brandenburg - Don't blame me (1962)” go here:

1) S'Wonderful 2:14
2) Lover Come Back To Me 2:57
3) Give Me The Simple Life 3:30
4) Pennies From Heaven 2:57
5) Secret Love 3:40
6) D'ont Blame Me 5:46
7) That Old Black Magic 2:30
8) Lover Man 4:18
9) Dancing On The Ceiling 2:38
10) Summertime 4:30
11) There'll Never Be Another You 2:58
12) S'Wonderful 2:59

For “ Inge Brandenburg - It's Alright With Me (1965)” go here:

1) C'est La Vie / Valse Hot 4:40
2) Round Midnight 4:46
3) Out Of Nowhere 3:08
4) Summertime 5:00
5) It's Alright With Me 1:52
6) Lonesome Road 6:19
7) Falling In Love With Love 2:58
8) What's The Matter, Daddy 6:11

A big thank you to Tunesmith @ Loadsamusics Forum for active links.