LP 01: Wunderland – 70 Jahre Hessen 1946-2016


Wunderland (2016)



Vinyl LP

Inspired by „70 Years of Hessen“, coach and bandleader Wolfgang Diefenbach presents a swinging programme of big-band music with the LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen (Kicks & Sticks) together with the Kicks & Sticks Voices. Under Wolfgang Diefenbach’s direction, Hessen’s best young jazz musicians show the influence of American post-war musical culture in original big-band sound, in the original big-band lineup. Their easy swinging orchestral sound transports good feelings that get your toes tapping. They let it swing!

The new project, with original pieces by swing greats such as Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, led directly to the recording studio. On the new disc you’ll hear a fine selection of well-known arrangements taken from the era of big bands and swing. Christian Seeger leads the saxophone section; his clarinet features as the central solo instrument and brings its own unmistakeable timbre to the sound.

The home-grown vocal group Kicks & Sticks Voices, for which Wolfgang Diefenbach and John Hondorp coach talented youngsters, provides the unmistakable sound. „Stardust“ and „Stars on 45“ are a tribute to the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The Kicks & Sticks Voices sing these two pieces in mostly original arrangements by two of the best-known vocal jazz ensembles that marked the swing of the ’40s and ’50s: The Modernaires and the Andrews Sisters. Hoagy Carmichael’s exacting classic „Stardust“ demands the highest levels of vocal precision. „Stars on 45“ is a medley of the Andrews Sisters‘ greatest hits.

International guest soloists were also engaged for the new CD recording. The Dutch jazz and soul singer Humphrey Campbell provides a velvet-smooth medley in the best tradition of Nat King Cole. Madeline Bell gives her incomparable, irresistable voice to Duke Ellington’s composition „Don’t Get Around Much Anymore“. Bill Ramsey, with his distinctive bluesy singing, is the soloist in „Fly Me to the Moon“ — which, incidentally, he recorded before Frank Sinatra put it down on vinyl in 1964. The legendary jazzer Emil Mangelsdorff plays saxophone in Count Basie’s „Down for the Count“.

The Sound of Liberty in Post-War Germany

The development of big band jazz in post-war Germany was influenced above all by the presence of the American troops and the new feeling of liberty, as demonstrated by swing, which was now no longer verboten and was feverishly celebrated.

In addition to the American military swing orchestras, jazz stars such as Frank Sinatra, Bill Ramsey, Madeline Bell and jazz musicians who lived in and around Wiesbaden appeared in the legendary „Eagle Club“, which had its home in the Wiesbaden Kurhaus in the first years after the end of World War II.


Featuring Kicks & Sticks Voices (Janina Hirch, Jasmine Klewinghaus, Anastasia Kruse, Clara John, Stefan Huber, Raphael Ries)

Bandleader and artistic director: Wolfgang Diefenbach

1. Moonlight Serenade 4:15
comp & arr: Glenn Miller
cl: Christian Seeger
2. In the Mood 3:29
comp: Joe Garland, arr: Eddie Durham
ts: Victor Fox, as: Stephan Hoffmann, tp: Felix Blum
3. Nat King Cole Medley 6:07
all arr: Jerry van Rooyen
It’s Only a Paper Moon
comp: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Billy Rose
Sweet Lorraine
comp: Cliff Burwell, lyrics: Mitchell Parish
Hit That Jive Jack
comp: Skeets Tolbert, lyrics: John Alston
Route 66
comp: Bobby Troup, lyrics: Chuck Berryvoc: Humphrey Campbell
4. Down for the Count 5:25
comp & arr: Frank Foster
as: Emil Mangelsdorff, p: Darius Heid
5. Stars on 45 4:38
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Don Raye/Hughie Prince
South American Way
Al Dubin/Jimmy McHugh
Bei mir bist du schoen
Saul Chaplin/Sammy Cahn
In the Mood
Andy Razaf/Joe Garland
Rum and Coca-Cola
Morey Amsterdam/Paul Baron
Tico Tico
Aloysio de Oliveira/Ervin Drake
Say „Si, si!“
Ernesto Lecuona/Al Stillman
tp: Felix Blum,
voc: Kicks & Sticks Voices – Janina Hirch, Jasmine Klewinghaus, Anastasia Kruse
6. Sing, Sing, Sing 5:21
comp: Louis Prima, arr: Jimmy Mundy
cl: Christian Seeger, dr: Julian Camargo Krauskopf
7. Don’t get around much anymore 2:47
comp: Duke Ellington, lyrics: Rob Russell, arr: Jan Wessels
voc: Madeline Bell
8. Stardust 4:28
comp: Hoagy Carmichael, lyrics: Mitchell Parish, arr: Glenn Miller, transcript: Jan Wessels, John Hondorp
voc solos: Jasmine Klewinghaus, Kicks & Sticks Voices – Clara John, Anastasia Kruse, Jasmine Klewinghaus, Stefan Huber, Raphael Ries
9. Clarinet à la King 3:12
comp: Eddie Sauter, transcript: Jens Hunstein
cl: Christian Seeger
10. Li’l Darlin‘ 5:21
comp: Neal Hefti, arr: Darmon Meader
voc: Kicks & Sticks Voices – Clara John, Janina Hirch, Stefan Huber, Raphael Ries
11. Mambo Inn 2:31
comp & arr: Tito Puente
bs: Kira Linn
12. Fly Me to the Moon 3:50
comp & lyrics: Bart Howard, lyrics: Dieter Reith
voc: Bill Ramsey, ts: Victor Fox
13. Wunderland bei Nacht 3:27
comp: Klaus-Günter Neumann, arr: Jan Wessels
tp: Felix Blum

Recorded and produced in Bauer Studios, Ludwigsburg

Sound engineers: Adrian von Ripka, Eva Bauer-Oppelland