Kristian Schultze


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In the '70s, German keyboardist Kristian Schultze was known for his work with saxophonist Klaus Doldinger's fusion band, Passport. But he also did some worthwhile things on his own. This German release focuses on recordings that Schultze provided in 1972, when he led a fusion trio that included bassist Pawel Jarzebski and the late drummer Joe Nay. That trio recorded an LP titled Overdrive, which came out on the Tempo label. Recreation is essentially a reissue of Overdrive, although it also contains some previously unreleased bonus tracks that unite the trio with trumpeter Dusko Koykovich and saxman Olaf Kubler. Back then, fusion was still the new kid on the jazz block, and it was generating a lot of heated debates in jazz circles. Purists insisted that it was blasphemous to combine jazz with rock and funk elements; thankfully, explorers like Miles Davis, Return to Forever, Weather Report, Larry Coryell, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra didn't let that prevent them from making history. On Recreation, Schultze and his European colleagues tend to favor the funkier side of fusion -- Recreation isn't quite soul-jazz in the usual Lou Donaldson/Charles Earland/Houston Person sense, but it does have a strong groove factor. And at times, Schultze's work brings to mind the albums that fellow keyboardist Herbie Hancock recorded with his Headhunters band -- like Hancock, Schultze knows how to be intellectual and funky at the same time. That isn't to say that these 1972 recordings are in a class with Hancock's best '70s work; nonetheless, Schultze's material is generally decent and satisfying. Although not well-known in the United States, the performances on Recreation are worth hearing if you have a taste for '70s fusion.

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