Green Dolphin Orchestra – The Jazz Day Recordings Part I-VIII


  • Anno: 2024
  • Formato: 12", EP
  • Label: Enjoy Jazz Records

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In the midst of the pandemic, Enjoy Jazz Festival has developed a musical project whose members will be recruited new every year and then debut at a concert on UNESCO International Jazz Day, April 30. The members come from the jazz scene of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. “We wanted,” festival director Rainer Kern stresses, “not only to revitalize the fragile network of outstanding creative minds, but also to rethink it artistically as a rolling system.” Two experienced and renowned band leaders, Alexandra Lehmler and Erwin Ditzner, now curate an annually changing ensemble of outstanding artists of the most diverse provenance. As part of a voluntary commitment, the ensemble is to be organized in a sustainable, diverse, and, in three years at the latest, completely gender-equal
and climate-fair manner. Thus, as a commitment to the goals of the “European/Local Green Deal” (and with reference to the jazz standard “On Green Dolphin Street”), the name Green Dolphin Orchestra was created. Another special feature: The renowned Oriental Music Academy Mannheim (OMM), a long-standing partner of the Enjoy Jazz Festival, receives a white card, so that musicians with a migration background or protagonists from other musical cultures are always part of this “orchestra of many” and constantly expand its sound language.

The project has a free improvisation approach with changing personnel. “We actually even thought of drawing lots for the different formats within the band pool,” explains saxophonist Alexandra Lehmler. “We decided against it in the case of the first concert and instead put together curated formations.” And drummer Erwin Ditzner adds, “In principle, however, this procedure remains an option.” It was important to the two of them to also mix the genres represented by the individual musicians in such a way that free space for something truly new could emerge. “We wanted to challenge ourselves,” Lehmler sums it up. The only restriction: a time code was assigned to each sub-project. “Each formation was given a time limit, although it was possible to virtually override this limit by spontaneous
reshuffling,” says Ditzner, explaining one central of the few rules. “In concrete terms, this meant that after eight minutes, the improvisation in progress was either ended or new musicians simply joined in the ongoing creative process, while others took themselves out of the game.”

Alexandra Lehmler summarizes the artistic impact of the ensemble as follows: “We really cross-fertilize each other. In order to push this process even further, we forced ourselves when putting together the ensemble not to fall back on our ‘favorite playing partners’, i.e. musicians with whom one feels particularly at home. In other words, we consciously wanted to step out of our comfort zone with this project.” The present pieces were recorded live in Heidelberg during the ensemble’s premiere concert on the occasion of International Jazz Day on April 30, 2022.