Auf der Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil


Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky Saxophones
Conrad Bauer Trombone
Ulrich Gumpert Piano
Günter Sommer Drums, Percussion

Recorded March, 5, 6, 1974 by Rundfunk der DDR, Berlin. Engineer: Sigfried Scholz. Producer Rolf Reichelt.
Cover art: Angelika Margull/Jost Gebers. First released on FMP, 1976. Re-released on Itnakt Records, 2008.
Cover reconstruction: Georg Bauer. Executive production: Patrik Landolt. Published and copryright by Intakt Records.

Intakt CD 142/ 2008


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Die vier Grossen des deutschen Jazz – Conny Bauer, Ulrich Gumpert, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Günter Baby Sommer – spielten 1974 in den Studios des DDR-Rundfunks unter dem Bandnamen Synopsis die Platte «Auf Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil“ ein. Dieses frühe Manifest eines eigenständigen Jazz ist in der DDR nie erschienen, wurde aber in West-Berlin von der FMP als Platte veröffentlicht. Die Platte war während vieler Jahre vergriffen.

Intakt Records hat mit den vier Musikern, die sich später Zentralquartett nannten, mehrere CDs veröffentlicht. Nun erscheint bei Intakt Records dieses frühe, bedeutende Werk als CD.


The four greats of German jazz – Conrad Bauer, Ulrich Gumpert, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, and Günter Sommer – have recorded on March 1974, in the studios of East German Radio, their early manifesto “Auf der Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil”, which was never released in East Germany. It was published later in West Berlin by FMP.
“Auf der Elbe schwimmt ein rosa Krokodil” continues what Ulrich Gumpert began in 1973 with his Workshop Band and also in his duo with Günter Sommer: the recourse to largely unused German folk songs as a commitment to his own tradition – with all the internalized Monk albums and various other influences superimposed upon it, of course.

“The theme that comes up in both "Krokodil" pieces and also in "Zweisam" seems like an anthem but is also somewhat elegiac. There is no reason for celebration, but also none for resignation. East Berlin, 1974. No ironic distance, but identification with a musically, culturally, and politically strange situation in the here and now. Finding oneself by risking breaking oneself. The image of a pink crocodile swimming on the Elbe, a verbal supplement to an autonomous sound production, pushes the play of associations into the surreal. Perhaps, too, the inflatable creature secretly sets out on the path that at the time would not have been allowed by the authorities: from Dresden to Hamburg and on to the open sea.”
Bert Noglik, liner notes.

Liner notes of Bert Noglik (dt + engl)



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Zentralquartett. Plié. Intakt CD 037. .. .Careless Love.Intakt CD 050... ZeZentralquartet.Intakt CD 069 . ....11 Songs - Aus Teutschen Landen. Intakt CD 113


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Günter Sommer on Intakt Records

Conrad Bauer on Intakt Records

Ulrich Gumpert on Intakt Records

Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky on Intakt Records



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