Heiner Stadler is a lesser-known but fascinating New York City-based composer who’s stretched
the structures and dimensions of jazz with all-star productions including A Tribute to Monk and Bird and Brains on Fire (which I annotated for recent reissue). It’s Psycheledic Baby, the online magazine by Klemen Breznikar taglined “discover the unknown” has published an interview with Stadler — a Polish-born (’42) WWII refugee who heard a Sydney Bechet record when he was 13, got to NYC by boat in his 20s, broke but motivated. He says his composing has been as profoundly affected by John Lee Hooker as by Bach and Cage (and he’s produced recordings of them all). I wrote a few words of introduction to the interview.
Recorded from the late ’60s through late ’70s, Stadler’s pieces are often long and always multi-dimensional, even if his collaborative improvisers are just two (cf, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s virtuosic 20-minute “Love in the Middle of the Air” over only Reggie Workman’s bass). All his records have been released through his own Labor Records (might call it a label-of-love) and there’s not a lot of samples online tbut I found one youtube clip.
Unfamiliar to me, evidently excerpted — but from what? — I emailed Heiner for identification. He wrote back:
This is indeed one of my pieces, an excerpt from “Out-Rock,” part of my Jazz Alchemy cycle. K7 Records, a German company, had requested a license for this tune on behalf of “Four tet / DJ Kicks” in conjunction with the release of the act’s CD and double LP under the same name/title. The CD version of Out-Rock with added electronics was shortened to 1:38; the version on the 2-LP set is identical to the one on the Alchemy CD, namely 8:40.
As for the trumpet player, this was the late Charles McGee (whose name I had always misspelled by inserting the “h” after the “G”). Charles was a dear friend of mine practically from the time I arrived in NY City.
It’s Psychedelic Baby, Heiner’s music, jazz beyond “jazz.”