This record is different. lt’s a conversation between three musicians — three musicians who are friends. That is what unites them, that and their musical starting point : the classic jazz of Lester Young at one end of the scale, Zoot Sims at the other, with Lee Konitz and Lennie Tristano serving as a sort of focus point. The great French jazz critic André Hodeir called this type of classic jazz “modern Count Basie”. One could also name it “middle of the road jazz”. lt was once common ground for all three, but later each one developed into a dis- tinct direction which suited him best. Each of the three has become known, and when one of their names is mentioned it immediately brings to mind precise musical connotations. Each calls to life a whole musical “world” — each his own. Now the three musicians meet again, after many years, to communicate with each other — in dialogues, triologues, and monologues — in duos, trios, and solos...
The idea was Hans Koller’s. He lives a very secluded life in Brautlingen, in the south of the Black Forest, near the Swiss border. There he works obsessively in his studio, painting pictures which often look as if music had turned into something of a vegetative nature, something organic, growing and burgeoning — something organ — ic born out of dreams... Koller heard that Attila Zoller, the long-standing friend with whom he had played during his time in Vienna, Frankfurt, and Baden-Baden, was coming over from the States on a visit to Europe. Hans knew at once that he would have to make recordings with him. But he also knew that the time was long past for one of those recordings with tenor sax, guitar, and rhythm section, which he and Attila had produced in such vast numbers during the long years of their collaboration. Hans recalled another musician who, like he himself, had become sort of a lone wolf on the jazz scene of his native country : French pianist Martial Solal. Hans and Martial had become acquainted during the recordings of the European All-Stars in Berlin and Baden-Baden in 1961. Their mutual respect and admiration had not diminished at all since then. Unlike critics and fans, who can comprehend the importance of such a happening only after listening closely to the recordings, Hans Koller knew intuitively that something special would happen if he, Attila, and Martial got together. Nothing about this meeting in Villingen/Black Forest was pre-arranged. Hans Koller put his paint brushes aside and left Braunlingen. Attila had just been recording an album in Hamburg. Solal, who was picked up at Basie airport by a SABA company car, was the first to be ready to play. If you know him, you also know that he’s always prepared for playing. In fact, he once told me, that for years there had not been a single day he did not practice piano for at least six hours. So, Solal started to play three or four versions of “The End Of A Love Affair” — each so completely different from another that it seemed to be an entirely different composition, each played in Solal’s characteristic style : with abundant brilliant ideas which seem to chase one another...
Joachim-Ernst Berendt, from the original liner notes (translated by N. Whittaker)
1 Mr. Heine's Blues (Zoller) 4:08
2 The End of a Love Affair (Redding) 3:30
3 Stella by Starlight (Washington, Young) 4:33
4 After Glow (Zoller) 3:20
5 My Old Flame (Johnston, Coslow) 3:36
6 Away from the Crowd (Zoller) 4:11
7 All the Things You Are (Kern, Hammerstein) 6:32
8 Stompin' at the Savoy (Goodman, Webb, Samson, Razaf) 3:40
9 H.-J. Meets M. A. H. (Koller) 5:22
Attila Zoller - g
Hans Koller - ts
Martial Solal - p
Recorded at MPS-Studio, Villingen (Black Forest), Germany ; January, 1965