Hartwig Eitler Quartet

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Live Recordings


Austrian TV recorded the 1968 amateur jazz festival in Vienna, held at the Konzerthaus music hall. Helmut Schwarzer organized the Royal Flush Orchestra and played the piano, Hartwig Eitler [sax & clarinet], Gerhard Pirker [sax & clarinet], Claus Nemeth [sax & clarinet], Hansjörg Cohnen [trumpet], Heinz Altwirth [trumpet], Walter Terharen [trombone], Franz Hubeny [bass], Michael Schneider [banjo], Franz Leberl [drums]. 

The tune was erroneously announced by the legendary Jazz-moderator Guenter Schifter as Georgia Grind, but it really is Georgia Swing, a composition by Jelly Roll Morton. 

"Mister Jazz" on Austrian radio was Guenter Schifter, famous for his post World-War II radio jazz programs. He moderated the jazz festival's TV documentary. Gunter Schifter's many radio shows have been preserved in the elaborate digital Mediathek in Vienna. For an Internet-access click here.

The video recording has been made available by the ORF Austrian TV for unrestricted use.  That amateurs could fill the Konzerthaus music hall in Vienna with jazz was due to a lack of alternatives -- jazz at the time was overwhelmingly in the hands of amateurs. After all, this was 20 years after the end of WW II. All jazz had then been frowned upon or forbidden as "enemy music". Jazz education had yet to get introduced in Austrian educational institutions.

The tune is called The Mooch and is a composition by Duke Ellington.

This tune is called East Saint Louis Toodle Oo, also a composition by Duke Ellington and the signature tune for that band until Take the A-Train replaced it in later years. 

Our band at the time played with different musicians. For example for a while we had a tuba in lieu of the double bass. But we were always 10 members of the band. The music style is sometimes called "Harlem Jazz". 

It might be noteworthy to point out that the band dissolved in 1969 but was then called together again by Helmut Schwarzer in 2009 and is currently in full "swing" with some members from the original line up. Check www.projazz.at for details.

Saturday Night Function is also a composition by Duke Ellington.  Listen to Guenter Schifter -- he announces the tune very nicely.

Looking back, one might find it amazing that Amateur Jazz could fill an entire large concert venue in Vienna. Can you find an empty seat in that concert hall?  But this was the time that jazz was on every urban young person's mind. Was it perhaps somewhat reaction to the fact that the parent's generation had not really been interested and been subjected to negative propaganda under the then political system?

In 2014, the public for jazz events may still tend to be the same people as in 1968, therefore now grey-haired [look at us].