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Ladi Geisler Minor Swing (CD)

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LADI GEISLER: MINOR SWING "Ladi Geisler on the guitar" - that was a ray of hope in... more

Ladi Geisler: Minor Swing (CD)


"Ladi Geisler on the guitar" - that was a ray of hope in the 50s and 60s, when jazz could be caught on the radio (like today again) at best late at night. His name in the radio magazines, performed in the earlier broadcast dance music programs of the NWDR (Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk) - later NDR - was a guarantor for those who were looking for jazzy sounds. There one was sure that even in waltzes and tangos, even if no swinging solos, one could at least trace the unmistakable sound of his guitar, listen to a musician who "belonged to us and did not belong there at all" and who clearly showed international ability. And the discoveries were then the raisins in the leaven: Ladi Geisler's string sounds in the entertainment orchestra and in the dance music combos delighted and reconciled the fan, and they burned firmly in the memory, evolving into grateful memories far beyond that time.

And so he can count on a large following today, when he is no longer involved in the breadmaking determined by others. She comes to his performances in Hamburg Jazzclubs and to concerts with the Ladi Geisler Combos in different line-ups. And - also a result of his popularity in the years of radio and dance music - not only the jazz fans come, but also the friends of dance and high-quality light music, who admire the virtuoso, the 'Mister Guitar', who inspired them in shows like 'Wir spielen - bitte tanzen sie' with Delicado, Happy Guitar, Linda Muchacha, Amorada or with his hit Wheels.

Ladi Geisler, full name Miloslav Ladislav Geisler, born on 27 November 1927 in Prague, received violin lessons as a child and had discovered his love for the guitar in Denmark when he was a prisoner of war, where he also met the accordionist and orchestra leader Horst Wende. However, Ladi denied his first engagement as a ... Trumpet player. With Wende he came to Hamburg after the war, and 'Horst Wende, accordion with his small dance ensemble', 'Horst Wende und das Poly-Sextett' quickly became a household name with Ladi Geisler in the Hanseatic city by appearances in the Crusader-Club (later Dreyer's Ahoi) or in the Tarantella, by the radio in northern and western Germany, as well as by records all over Germany.

"At the beginning of the 50s I had the feeling that here in Hamburg I had probably achieved everything that could be achieved. And I really wanted to learn something new, to get a bit more of the big, wide world. From Fud Candrix, the Belgian bandleader with whom I often played in Hamburg, I got a recommendation to Charles Delaunay, the French jazz pope and boss of the Hot Club de France. Paris was anyway my dream destination as a cultural and musical metropolis of Europe and as a place where Django Reinhardt was at home. I really wanted to get to know him, the great guitarist. Unfortunately, I was too late - a week before he had passed away."

But he also knows how to report funny experiences: "As soon as the opportunity arose somewhere and interesting musicians were in Hamburg, I joined. So was when Atilla Zoller came and played in a jazz club here. He asked me one day, "Can you play for me for a while, just a few pieces? I have to go to Michael Naura's, it's his birthday. I'll be back as soon as you lend me your car.' I said, 'Okay, here are the keys, but come back quickly, I have to go to the studio in the morning'. And Atilla stayed away, I had to play all night for him, I think until three o'clock. Then he arrived laughing happily and said 'Oh you, it took a little longer' - and I had already got cold feet and imagined what terrible things had happened to him with my car."

In 1955 Ladi Geisler made an unscheduled jump to the NWDR/NDR and became an indispensable soloist as a permanent musician for the orchestras at this station - Alfred Hause, Günther Fuhlisch, Franz Thon, Kurt Wege and Harry Hermann (i.e. Harry Hermann Spitz, who invented the term 'Schnulze' in 1948). Ladi Geisler also made innumerable records under his own name as well as with Evelyn Künneke, Michael Jary, Helmut Zacharias, Fritz Schulz-Reichel, Rudi Schuricke, Bully Buhlan, Margot Eskens, Rita Paul, Alexandra, Heidi Brühl, Hildegard Knef, Wencke Myhre, Friedel Hensch & den Cypries, Peter Beil and with Freddy Quinn, with whom he had already performed immediately after his start in the 'Washington Bar'. From the end of the 1950s on, the excellent guitarist was seen in the orchestra of Bert Kaempfert - the sound that shaped the recordings was co-determined to a decisive degree by Ladi Geisler: he invented and played the unmistakable 'crack bass' that was inseparably connected with the Kaempfert sound and thus created the typical rhythm. Tours with Kaempfert took him to England and the USA, with Esther and Abi Ofarim he travelled all over Europe, with Alfred Hause he went on six long tours to Japan.

"My most beautiful musician friendship connected me with the unforgettable Joe Pass. Every time he came to Hamburg, he called me immediately and said: 'Let's hang around, Ladi'. We could talk for hours without talking about music once. In our profession one can do this only if there is a deep soul kinship. Our musical exchange was also something lasting for me. For me, he was the absolute top talent, not reached by anyone." 

Django Reinhardt, role model and incentive of the early days, has already been mentioned. Les Paul is also to be mentioned, first class American jazz guitarist, creator of the 'trick guitar' (How High The Moon) and pioneer of rock as inventor of the electric guitar without resonating body (The Log, tree trunk, was the name of the thing). He, too, did not remain without influence on Ladi Geisler - and became his friend.

And when Ladi Geisler began his professional career with the six strings around 1947 in Hamburg and Les Paul at the same time conjured up a versatile orchestra out of six strings in his home studio in Los Angeles with the help of the first 8-track recording method he had also invented, this CD closes the circle: With the latest technology and a method developed by Ladi Geisler, he also put together a small band, also with his own studio. And as with Les Paul, the natural sound of genuinely played instruments is not ignored. The technique is the only means to an end, does not dominate and leads to an all around lively and swinging performance. "That was a pretty tricky process with a guitar - as opposed to a keyboard," says Mister Guitar. The jazz friends and the admirers of the melodiously played guitar, the music friends in general, will like it, the mixture of new and proven compositions, interwoven by swing and melodic improvisations: Kissin' On The Beach - Ladi Geisler, the friend of long walks at the Baltic Sea beach, certainly an uplifting memory. 

ADAC - no reference to the automobile club, but similar to B.A.C.H., a musical game with three basic tones, A, D, A and C. Samba Pa Ti - a composition by the Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana. In A Persian Market - a melody from 1920, which became a hit in the 30s by Larry Clinton. Dos Pajasos - Horst Mühlbradts bow to George Benson. Wave - Antonio Carlos Jobim's enchanting melody that made Frank Sinatra a hit. Minor Swing - a cheerful jazz theme, first recorded in 1937 by Django Reinhardt for a record. Sunrise Serenade - Composed in 1939 by pianist and bandleader Frankie Carle, once a hit for Glenn Miller. Siboney - Written in 1929 by Ernesto Lecuona, recorded again and again in the 30's, 40's and 50's by countless renowned interpreters. 

Ballad for Birgit- Ladi Geisler's thanks to his wife - that of a musician. Andalucia (The Breeze And I) - another hit by Ernesto Lecuona, like Malaguena from his 'Andalucia Suite, Espanola', written in 1930. Johnny Guitar, written by Victor Young and none other than Peggy Lee the swing and jazz singer, 1954, from the film of the same name. Lovesong For Effi - intended for the four-legged companion of the Geislers. One More For My Lady - one thank is not enough - see: Ballad for Birgit.

Hamburg in August 1997

Article properties: Ladi Geisler: Minor Swing (CD)

  • Interpret: Ladi Geisler

  • Album titlle: Minor Swing (CD)

  • Genre Schlager und Volksmusik

  • Label Bear Family Records

  • Preiscode AH
  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 4000127162274

  • weight in Kg 0.115
Geisler, Ladi - Minor Swing (CD) CD 1
01 Kissin' On The Beach Ladi Geisler
02 ADAC Ladi Geisler
03 Samba Pa Ti Ladi Geisler
04 Persian Market Ladi Geisler
05 Dos Pajasos Ladi Geisler
06 Wave Ladi Geisler
07 Minor Swing Ladi Geisler
08 Sunrise Serenade Ladi Geisler
09 Siboney Ladi Geisler
10 Ballade für Birgit Ladi Geisler
11 Andalusia Ladi Geisler
12 Johnny Guitar Ladi Geisler
13 Lovesong For Effi Ladi Geisler
14 One More For My Lady Ladi Geisler
Ladi Geisler born November 27, 1927 - died November 19, 2011 Günter Märtens meets... more
"Ladi Geisler"

Ladi Geisler

born November 27, 1927 - died November 19, 2011

Günter Märtens meets Ladi Geisler


When I met Ladi Geisler a few years ago, I was familiar with his music and his special guitar playing: In my childhood my father heard a lot of music by Bert Kaempfert and also the hits of Ladis band, the'Playboys'. I loved the wonderful Wheels and to the ghost riders I put on my cowboy hat and shot wildly around the area with my banger pistol.

Ladi Geisler is without doubt one of the most influential guitar players in German popular music of the last 50 years. On several records of other artists he is unmistakably represented with his guitar. The typical Bert Kaempfert sound would not have been possible without Ladis'Knackbass' and his guitar playing. Moreover, Ladi is an incredibly charming, cordial person and colleague whom I hold in high esteem.

It is therefore a great honour for me to have this conversation with him on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Günter Märtens

Ladi Geisler was born Miloslav Ladislav Geisler in Prague on 27 November 1927. He took violin lessons as a child, and his father had ambitious plans. Ladi was later to work as an engineer in the electrical company where he was a director. But it was to be otherwise. Ladi was only 15 years old when she was drafted into the war and finally ended up as a Danish prisoner of war. There he discovered his love for the guitar and got to know the accordionist and orchestra conductor Horst Wende.

When he was offered to come to Hamburg after the war, Ladi agreed. The Horst Wende Trio worked in the first years after the war at what was then NWDR, but also in Hamburg'Tarantella'. There Ladi met the then unknown Freddy Quinn and got him a job in the bar.

In 1955 Ladi Geisler separated from Wende and from then on worked as a full-time musician at NDR. Over the years he has become an indispensable soloist for the various orchestras at the station. He has also accompanied countless artists such as Freddy Quinn, Rudi Schuricke, Evelyn Künneke, Margot Eskens, Helmut Zacharias and Hildegard Knef on their recordings and has released many records under his own name. As a member of the Bert Kaempfert Orchestra, the excellent guitar player made his own mark on the Kaempfert sound from the late 1950s with the typical'Knackbass'.

In the following years he toured England with Kaempfert, performed throughout Europe with Esther and Abi Ofarim, and he also appeared six times with the orchestra Alfred Hause in Japan.

Django Reinhardt was already a role model in the early days. But Les Paul and Joe Pass were also an incentive and role model and eventually even became good friends.


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Geisler, Ladi - Minor Swing (CD) CD 1
01 Kissin' On The Beach
03 Samba Pa Ti
04 Persian Market
05 Dos Pajasos
06 Wave
07 Minor Swing
08 Sunrise Serenade
09 Siboney
10 Ballade für Birgit
11 Andalusia
12 Johnny Guitar
13 Lovesong For Effi
14 One More For My Lady