Alexander von Schlippenbach
Music journalist, author and sound artist Michael Rüsenberg invites jazz greats to an interesting exchange at "Speak Like A Child." The title of the series goes back to the title track of the legendary Herbie Hancock album from 1968 and is a reference to the musical primary color of the Stadtgarten. Now the popular interview series is also available as a podcast, listen here on this website, Spotify and iTunes.
With Alexander von Schlippenbach, one of the most important representatives of free jazz in Europe, one likes to associate "Berlin". But he is also a Cologne native; in any case, he graduated from high school here and studied composition at the Musikhochschule from 1959-64. The far more significant association, however, is "Globe Unity". In 1966 merely the title of a composition, to this day it is the name of probably the most important large formation of the European jazz avant-garde.
As a pianist, Alexander von Schlippenbach is a stylist in his own right. His greatest influences are Cecil Taylor, on the other hand Thelonious Monk; in 1996/97 he recorded Monk's complete works (70 pieces) with a quintet. Legendary his over five decades existing trio with Evan Parker (soprano saxophone) and Paul Lovens (drums), later Paul Lytton. He continues to tour in his ninth decade, including with his wife, pianist Aki Takase, and occasionally with his son Vincent, aka DJ Illvibe.
He has received several awards, including the Albert Mangelsdorff Prize in 1994, the SWR Jazz Prize in 2007, and the Federal Cross of Merit in 2017. The conversation with Alexander von Schlippenbach took place on Easter Monday, April 10, 2023, in the lounge of the Stadtgarten, three days after his 85th birthday. That was at 6 p.m., in front of an audience; at 8 p.m. he was sitting at the grand piano on the Stadtgarten stage with The Bridge, the quartet of Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado.