Born: 1948 Primary Instrument: Clarinet
Theo Jörgensmann's entire life changed the after hearing A Genuine Tong Funeral--the first recording of Carla Bley with the Jazz Composer's Orchestra Association. He took further inspiration from the music of Anthony Braxton, AACM, Art Ensemble Of Chicago and experimental Dutch musicians like Misha Mengelberg and Willem Breuker. As a result of the direction his work then took Jörgensmann is often classified as belonging to the 2nd generation of European free jazz musicians.
Theodor Franz Jörgensmann was born in 1948 in the town of Bottrop in the Western Rhur industrial region of Germany. His recent work with the 'Bottrop Sextet' reveals that he continues to retain great affection for the town where he grew up.
He started to play clarinet at the age of 18, taking private lessons from a music teacher at Folkwang Academy of Music in Essen. His dedication to the clarinet as his only instrument was only briefly interrupted during a 15 month spell doing National Service, when he was asked to play soprano saxophone for the Army dance band.
The distinctive tonal quality of Jörgenmann’s playing owes something to his choice of clarinet. Many of his albums, available on hatOLOGY, were recorded using a straight basset clarinet in Bb, made by Harald Hüyng, a pupil of the great Herbert Wurlitzer. This clarinet, although an Oehler System, would have some essential similarities to that played by Stadler when playing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in the 1780’s. It has extended keywork to enable an additional D and C at the bottom of its range. In 2008, however, Jörgensmann switched from his basset clarinet in Bb to a Low G clarinet, built by another pupil of Herbert Wurlitzer, Wolfgand Dietz.
Jörgensmann made his first appearance at a major event at the 1972 Frankfurt Jazz Festival. During this period he began working with local musicians. He didn't become a professional musician until 1975, and until that time worked as a laboratory technician in a chemical laboratory.
In the early 1970's Jörgensmann played in a Jazz Rock group which included the keyboard player Hendrik Schaper (later a member of Udo Lindenberg and the drummer Udo Dahmen. At this time he used electronic effects pedals, such as fuzz, wah-wah and chorus, but by 1975 when he formed the clarinet ensemble, 'Clarinet Contrast', he was interested in the pure acoustic sound of his instrument. 'Clarinet Contrast' included Bernd Konrad, Hans Kumpf and Michel Pilz as well as one of the musicians Jörgensmann had most admired when he first began playing clarinet, Perry Robinson.
Jörgensmann's exclusive focus on the clarinet has led him to form a succession of partnerships with other clarinet players. In the early 1980's the influential European producer and music journalist, Joachim-Ernst Berendt helped Jörgensmann call together the members of the 'Clarinet Summit'. This was an all-star clarinet group with soloists: John Carter, Perry Robinson, Theo Jörgensmann,Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky and Gianluigi Trovesi. Eckard Koltermann is another clarinetist who Jörgensmann has collaborated with on many occasions. As well as working together as a duo, in the mid 1980's they were both regular members of the clarinet ensemble CL 4, along with Lajos Dudas, Dieter Kühr, Eckard Koltermann and Gerald Doecke.
By no means are all Jörgensmann's collaborations with clarinet players. Several of his recordings on the HatHut / hatOLOGY label are with the Theo Jörgensmann Quartet which consists of Theo Jörgensmann on clarinet, Christopher Dell on vibes,Christian Ramond on double bass and Klaus Kugel on drums. The quartet performed with Lee Konitz at the Muenster Jazz Festival 1999. Another regular partner has been Kent Carter, working together on the 'Theo Jörgensmann Workshop Sextet' (Charlie Mariano,Petras Vysaiauskas, Theo Jörgensmann, Karl Berger, Klaus Kugel, Kent Carter), as well as the 'Vysniauskas - Jorgensmann Quintet': (Petras Vysniauskas, Theo Jorgensmann, Andreas Willers, Kent Carter. Klaus Kugel).
Trio Hot, Jink
Nemu / Be1Two
Tracks: 1; 2.
Personnel: Theo Jörgensmann: clarinet in Low G, Albrecht Maurer: violin,Peter Jacquemyn : bass.
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