After a reminiscing of Rex Stewart's recordings in Berlin which had an amazing 500 hits and turned out to be one of the most read posts of this blog, and also considering a chat with Berliner pianist/composer Ekkehard Wölk, now's the time for another story of jazz in Germany.
"At 11 A.M. on November 18, 1955, a nervous figure stepped off the gangplank of the S.S. New York at Pier 88 in Manhattan and gazed around with myopic eyes at the unfamiliar landscape of a strange new country. Jutta Hipp had arrived in America," remembers Leonard Feather of the arrival of the person whose life and jazz recordings is the subject of this post.
Before Miss Jutta Hipp's arrival in New York, she was a professional painter and musician in Germany. Born in February 4, 1925 in Leipzig, she started playing jazz in the war years, and not long after the war, she was leading her own combos. Feather discovered her "in the crowded cellar club in Duisberg," and invited her to go to US.
Jutta moved to New York City in 1955, and her first recordings were live at the Hickory House albums, now out-of-print and copies on the web, too expensive to afford. In July of the same year, she went to the studio with Zoot Sims to record probably her most famous LP, in a quintet format. 1956 was also marked by her appearance in Newport Jazz Festival.
We have to wait for the publishing of the first English language book about her (will come out soon) to explain why she suddenly stopped playing jazz and apparently became a seamstress! But some say, she was always nervous of playing with American jazz musicians, in a male dominated environment.
Hipp's American experience was shortly ended up in obscurity, and she returned to her first interest, painting. Though she stayed in New York, and died there in 2003.
This audio file is a radio programme, with interviews and music clips, in German. Anyone interested in transcribing/translating it, is more than welcome.
The last thing I have to say: I won't forgive Richard Cook for not including Hipp in his Jazz Encyclopedia.