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, to be heard here on this website, Spotify and iTunes.
Wolf-Dietrich "Wollie" Kaiser, born on 9.8.1950 in Königswinter, plays or played the entire saxophone family (except alto) down to the bass saxophone, plus flute(s) and clarinet(s).
Kaiser is self-taught. He has contributed to more than 60 recordings and co-founded the Cologne Saxophone Mafia in 1981 (and disbanded after 30 years on Sylt, listen below); he was part of the big bands of Klaus König and Peter Herborn; he has played with Gary Thomas, Kenny Wheeler or even Mark Feldman among others. His longtime collaborations include those with Fritz Wittek and Dieter Manderscheid, as well as Georg Ruby (SLAC October 2021).
The guitarist, who failed at an early age and who has nevertheless taken up the instrument again in his old age, cultivates a loud soft spot for rock music by means of the saxophone: he has jazzed up the Small Faces ("New traces for old aces", 1999) as well as the Rolling Stones and Nirvana.
Wollie Kaiser is one of the co-founders of the Initiative Kölner Jazzhaus e.V. - in other words, he's a Cologne jazz archetype. Nevertheless, for the past 18 years he has no longer lived on the Rhine, but in Saarbrücken, teaching at the Hochschule für Musik Saar (previously also for 19 years at the Folkwang Hochschule für Musik in Essen).
The interview with Wollie Kaiser took place on 12. March 2021 in the concert hall of the Stadtgarten, following a double concert of the series "past & present" (stream, without live audience): first the longstanding trio Wittek-Kaiser-Manderscheid, followed by Kaiser, bcl, and Manderscheid, b, with a (classical) string trio (Thomas Hemkemyer, v, Monika Bagdonaite, va, Julien Blondel, vc) - finally Wollie Kaiser on guitar; he sings an original song with a text by the anarchist Erich Mühsam (1878-1934).