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IN +OUT Records - A Profile

In its 14 years of operation, IN +OUT Records, the independent jazz label based in the university city of Freiburg in south-west Germany, has established a solid international reputation for jazz recordings of the highest musical and technical quality.

Its founder and CEO, Frank Kleinschmidt, named the company after a 1964 Blue Note album by Joe Henderson for which he had a great affection. “Our aim,” says Kleinschmidt, “is to produce innovative contemporary jazz music recorded with state-of-the art fidelity.”

From the marvellous live concerts by Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, The Fire This Time, and the all-star saxophone repertory band, ROOTS (with Arthur Blythe, Nathan Davis, Chico Freeman and Sam Rivers), recorded at the Leverkusen Jazz Festival, to the unique and powerful musical messages of James ‘Blood’ Ulmer, the non-conformist creativity of Chico Freeman’s remarkable Brainstorm group and the intrepid vocal improvisations of the inimitable Urszula Dudziak, the IN +OUT catalogue offers a fascinating variety of quality jazz productions, which have won high praise from jazz reviewers around the world.

Recent additions to the catalogue include The Art Of Three, a trio recording by Billy Cobham (d), Kenny Barron (p) and Ron Carter (b) which has had rave reviews; and a newly-discovered album by Rumanian piano virtuoso, Eugen Cicero – Swinging Piano Classics – which features his distinctive jazz versions of pieces by Bach, Mozart and Chopin plus well-loved standards like “Autumn Leaves” and “Misty”.


A key element in the IN +OUT success story is that the majority of the productions are recorded and mastered at one of Germany’s most sophisticated, high-tech. recording studios - Klang Studio Leyh, near Heidelberg - which is run by the brilliant sound engineer, Winfried Leyh, a wizard in the art of digital recording technology.

IN +OUT Records has won widespread critical acclaimfor many of its releases. They include:

The provocative The Fire This Time by Lester Bowie ’s Brass Fantasy, commended by French critic Christian Béthune as “un disque superb”;

Stablemates by ROOTS, described by Crescendo’s Ken Rattenbury as “An absolute joy to listen to throughout; an essential acquisition for the dedicated reedman
and the enlightened enthusiast.”

A landmark album by the acknowledged master of jazz harmonica, Toots Thielemans – The Live Takes, Volume 1, a compilation of nine outstanding tracks recorded in various locations between March 1994 and December 1998.

And Karl Berger’s Conversations, an album of duo performances by Berger (piano and vibraphone) with saxophonist/flautist Carlos Ward, bassist Dave Holland, violinist Mark Feldman, trombonist Ray Anderson, guitarist James ‘Blood’ Ulmer and singer Ingrid Sertso, which has been hailed by British critic Mike Hennessey as one of Berger’s finest recordings.



Other outstanding releases from IN + OUT are:

Threshold by Chico Freeman’s Brainstorm;

We Remember Cannon by the Nat Adderley Quintet, featuring alto saxophonist Vincent Herring;

Stablemates, the first studio recording by ROOTS;

Blues Allnight by the James ‘Blood’ Ulmer Blues Experience with Grant Calvin Weston, Ronnie Drayton and Amin Ali;

Live At The Bayerischer Hof, James ‘Blood’ Ulmer’s first live album in ten years, recorded at the famous Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich and described by Ulmer as a turning point in his recording career;

Magic Lady, an electrifying live album by Urszula Dudziak and the great fusion group, Walk Away;

In My Own Sweet Way by the late, great trumpet star, Woody Shaw;

And a fantastic and absolutely indispensable live recording made at the 1989 Jazz Festival in Leverkusen, Germany, on the occasion of Art Blakey’s 70th birthday. This album, Happy Birthday To Bu!, is a star-studded tribute to the indefatigable Blakey, who led the incomparable Jazz Messengers for 45 years. It features, as well as Blakey’s regular group of the time - Bryan Lynch, Donald Harrison, Javon Jackson, Frank Lacy, Geoff Keezer and Essiet Okun Essiet - former Messengers Terence Blanchard, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Jackie McLean, Curtis Fuller, Walter Davis Jr. and Buster Williams, plus special guest stars Roy Haynes and Michele Hendricks, who sings Mr.Blakey, a song specially composed for Art’s birthday by the co-founder of the Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver.

In addition to recording major American jazz artists, IN + OUT Records is pledged to give recording opportunities to outstanding European musicians and among those to be found in the catalogue are award-winning pianist, vocalist, composer and arranger, Paul Kuhn, Austrian tenor saxophone icon, Hans Koller, Dutch keyboard virtuoso, Jasper van’t Hof (with Bob Malach, Michal Urbaniak, Bo Stief and Alphonse Mouzon), rising German trombone star Lucas Heidepriem, and, on the company ’s HOT SHOT label, the fantastic trumpet supremo, Maynard Ferguson with his Big Bop Nouveau Band and the multi-national Jumping Jivers, with an album saluting the great Louis Jordan, Hey, Louis!.

These are some of the highlights from the catalogue of IN +OUT Records – the company which brings you jazz music that’s

IN the groove and
            OUT of the ordinary!