Rüdiger Carl

A page for the band Blank, featuring Rüdiger Carl, is also available at http://www.augst-carl-korn.de
Rüdiger Carl photograph


Born 1944, Goldap (East Prussia); accordion, saxophone, clarinet, arranger, composer.

Rüdiger Carl has been involved in improvised music from 1968, recording his first record in January 1972 and then playing with a wide range of musicians including Arjen Gorter, Makaya Ntshoko, Louis Moholo, Maarten van Regteren Altena, Tristan Honsinger, Johnny Dyani and Han Bennink. His long-standing partnership with Irene Schweizer began in 1973 and continues to the present day and for a three year period, from 1973 to 1976 he was also a member of Globe Unity Orchestra. He began to give solo performances in 1977 and in 1978 started two other long-term professional partnerships, with Sven-Åke Johansson and Hans Reichel. All three musicians were members of the Bergisch-Brandenburgisches Quartett (the fourth member being Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky) and they have both appeared in duos with Carl, Carl and Johansson are members of the 'Swing Dance Band' (with Alexander von Schlippenbach and Jay Oliver), Carl and Reichel have been members of the September Band since 1993, and the trio of Carl/Reichel/Johansson has itself been performing since 1994 (see below).

Rüdiger Carl has probably made the most striking change in improvised music, virtually forsaking the quintessentially jazz instrument - the tenor saxophone - and taking up one with totally different associations and means of expression: the accordion. This was manifest in recordings on Buben, his duets with Hans Reichel, and though he continued to play the two instruments virtually side-by-side ( in addition to clarinet), the - what some might deem to be drastic - move was completed and cemented on Vorn which even featured a version of Paul McCartney's Those were the days. Following this recording, the COWWS Quintet was formed, continuing Carl's musical relationship with Schweizer and adding Philipp Wachsmann, Jay Oliver and Stephen Wittwer. While quite varied moods are apparent from the recorded output of the group, the lasting impression is one of folk and song influences, emphasised by Carl's accordion. With the death of Oliver in 1993, the bass chair was taken by Barre Phillips for approximately one year and then by Arjen Gorter.

Rüdiger Carl has continued to work with other musicians in addition to COWWS. Thus, the Canvas Trio was formed in 1991 with Joëlle Léandre and Carlos Zingaro, and in the same year he played in duos with Mayo Thompson of the Red Crayolas (who contributed to the second COWWS record) and Joëlle Léandre. From 1988 to 1992 he was concert organiser of 'Musik im Portikus' in Frankfurt/M. and from 1994 has been leader of the F.I.M. Orchester in Frankfurt/M. His most recent involvements have been in an occasional duo with Burkhard Kunkel, zither and in the ironic electronics trio Blank with Oliver Augst and Christoph Korn. Over a three-year period Blank worked with American painter and poet Raymond Pettibon, initially at the Philharmonie in Cologne (released on GROB) and later documented in the hörspiel Long live the people of the revolution, released on Eventuell.

e-mail: carl@pol-music.de

Further information

Brennan, Gerald E (2003), Rüdiger Carl interview. Cadence, vol. 29, no. 3, (March), pp. 12-25.


1972, King alcohol (new version), FMP 0060. Carl/Christmann/Schönenberg.
1973, Ramifications, Ogun OG 500.
1974, Der alte mann bricht, FMP S4. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1974, For example, FMP R123. One track on commemorative/compilation 3LP set.
1974, Hamburg '74, FMP 0650/Atavistic Unheard Music Series UMS/ALP248CD. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1974, Goose pannée, FMP 0190.
1975, Bavarian calypso/Goodbye, FMP S6. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1975, Messer, FMP0290. Trio with Louis Moholo and Irène Schweizer.
1975/1977, Messer und..., FMP CD 139. CD issue of Messer and part of Tuned boots (1977).
1975, Jahrmarkt/Local fair, Po Torch PTR/JWD 2. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1975, Baden-Baden '75, FMP CD 137. Globe Unity Orchestra + Guests.
1976, Pearls, FMP 0380. Globe Unity Orchestra.
1977/78, Tuned boots, FMP 0550.
1978, Buben, FMP 0530. Duo with Hans Reichel.
1978, The very center of middle Europe, hat HUT X. Duo with Irène Schweizer.
1979, Good old circus/Stary dobry cirkus, FMP SAJ-33/Supraphon. Interjazz IV/European Improvisors Band.
1979, Sven-Åke Johansson mit dem NMUI im SO 36 '79, FMP S17.
1979, Sven-Åke Johansson mit dem NMUI im SO 36 '79, Olof Bright OBCD10/GROB650. Full version of concert previously released on FMP S17.
1980, Die V-Mann suite, FMP 0860. Duo with Irène Schweizer.
1982, Ruitsmijters, G Locken 50/II. Accompanying Anton Antonius Neger.
1982, Bergisch-Brandenburgisches Quartett, Amiga 856031. With Johansson/Reichel/Petrowsky.
1984, Night and day FMP S13. Schlippenbach/Johansson/Carl/Oliver.
1985, Fünfunddreissigvierzig, FMP 1080.
1986, Vorn, FMP 1110.
1987, Zwei Quintette, FMP 1210/20. With Oliver/Schweizer/Wachsmann/Wittwer.
1989, Seite A Seite A, FMP S23. With Oliver/Schweizer/Wachsmann/Wittwer/Thompson.
1990, Test record, United music of marantz UMOM 1. Duo with Sven-Åke Johansson.
1992, Night and Day plays them all, Edition Artelier Graz 6CD set. Night and Day.
1992, L'Histoire de Mme. Tasco, Hat ART 6122. The Canvas Trio.
1993, Blue Goo Park, FMP CD 52. Duo with Léandre.
1994, Grooves 'n' loops, FMP CD 59. COWWS.
1994, Buben...plus, FMP CD 78. New duos with Hans Reichel, released with older material.
1994, The Vandoeuvre concert, FMP CD 72. September Band: Carl/Hirsch/Lovens/Reichel.
1994, Looking at flees with Henry Geldzahler, FMP MJ 01. September Band one track on compilation.
1993/1995, Solo, FMP CD 86.
1977-1996, Book/Virtual COWWS, FMP OWN90007/9.
1996, Indigo Leiterwagen Records LWR 7. Jailhouse.
1996, Moments Music and Arts CD-999. Canvas Trio.
1996, Trommeln im Anzug Leiterwagen Records LWR 10. Jailhouse.
1997, Hans Reichel/Rüdiger Carl, Hurta Cordel 97.
1997, Djungelmusik med sång, Häpna H.2. Duo of Carl/Johansson.
1997/8, We are eggsperienced Blue Chopsticks BC3. One track with Jailhouse.
1997/2002, d'accord, SAJ-CD21/22. Duo of Carl/Johansson.
1998, Live, Private production: No label. Carl/Kraft/Wolf.
1999, Blank, FMP OWN90013. Augst/Carl/Korn.
1999, Live in Berlin, FMP CD 146. Manuela+.
1998/2000, Gold, (no label). Duo with Burkhard Kunkel.
2001, Total Music Meeting 2001: Audiology - 11 groups live in Berlin, A/L/L002. One track by Manuela on this compilation CD.
?, Jailhouse with strings Leiterwagen Records LWR 18.
?, Jailhouse with strings Meeuw muzak MM015. 7" single taken from Jailhouse with strings CD.
2001, Blank meets Pettibon, GROB 538.
2001, Hudson Riv, GROB 542. Johansson/Carl/Williamson.
2002, Gold live, (no label). Duo with Burkhard Kunkel.
2002/03, Post, GROB 653. Blank.
2003/04, Duden, Eventuell EVTL04. Blank.
2004, Long live the people of the revolution, Eventuell EVTL05. Blank/Pettibon/Yoshihide.
2004, Blank plays Duden, Revolver/textxtnd. DVD.
2005, A foggy day, SAJ CD20. Hudson Riv.
2010 + 2005 + 1985, Tschüss Bethanien!, NI-VU-NI-CONNU nvnc-dvd1. Duo of Carl/Johansson.
2011, Kippenberger hören, Whatness 009. SAJ/Annette Krebs.

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