"Berlin Box vol. 1 " is a musical journey divided into three splendid volumes that give the listener the best of recordings made by the label Jazzwerkstatt in Berlin. The first cd "Live in Berlin" (JW 22) proposes the fabulous duo of Steve Lacy (soprano sax) and Mal Waldron (piano), immortalized on stage when creating a harmonious interpretation of "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" by Billy Strayhorn and "Epistrophy" Thelonious Monk together with their own original pieces.
The second album "Live in Berlin" looks back on two momentous events in the history of jazz, the only concert that the legendary Max Roach gave in the former East Germany and at Jazzb Berlin, the country's most important jazzfestival, which was held annually between 1977 and 1989. The 1984 concert brought together the internationally acclaimed trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, who had been playing with Roach since 1971 and hence longer than anyone else, Odeon Pope, who had been in the ensemble since 1979 and who being experienced in free jazz had a lot to do with the most recent innovations, and the bass player Tyrone Brown, who had joined in 1983. All of them were excellent soloists. The quartet breathes new life into the once highly popular bebop themes 'Jordu' and 'Good Bait', making for a surprise in the latter with its introduction of the organic, yet original 3/4-time that was so typical of Roach. After an astounding anthem-like introduction, Coltrane's 'Giant Steps' turns into a crazy speed trip with a truly wonderful tenor solo and that unmistakable Max Roach solo style. Although 'Perdido', an Ellington swing number, fi ts the profi le of timeless modernism and allows everyone a solo. By contrast 'Six Bits' is an exquisite tour de force of musicianship. Here, Roach is the shouter with humorous, improvised lyrics, while Cecil Bridgewater demonstrates similarly comic gifts on the mouthpiece of his trumpet (reaping laughter and a special round of applause for weaving in a quotation from 'Struttin' with some Barbecue'). The tenor sax eventually joins in to create an imaginatively upbeat dialogue..
The third album of the packed box of home Jazzwerkstatt is "Three to Get Ready": David Friesen (bass), Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals) and Bud Shank (alto sax), album recorded in Berlin in 1994 characterized by the great virtuosity that unfolds in some interpretations of jazz standards and blues. "Berlin Box vol. 1 "it is a musical walk in one of the most musically creative cities in Europe.