WE NEED VIBES! writes the avant-garde legend Don Cherry to his Heidelberg pianist and vibraphonist Karl Berger in the mid-60s. He follows the call of his bandleader and moves to New York with his wife and child. The best decision!
Like hardly any other of his generation, the musician and doctor of musicology Karl Berger has shaped free improvisation and, above all, world music.
Classically trained at the Heidelberg Conservatory, he learns jazz improvisation from the stationed US soldiers at Cave 54 until more and more renowned US musicians bring him into their bands. He gives up his assistant position with Theodor W. Adorno and escapes the dull post-war Germany to meet his sponsor Don Cherry in Paris. Together with his wife, the Munich singer Ingrid Sertso, he follows him to New York and together with her and Ornette Coleman founds a centre for free music and improvisation, the Creative Music Studio, in Woodstock at the beginning of the 70s.
Many musicians from the local music scene in Woodstock join in: Carla Bley, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Pat Metheny, Anthony Braxton but also from all parts of the world join the CMS, as for example the percussionists Nana Vasconcelos, Trilok Gurtu or Ayib Dieng. To this day they pass on their knowledge in workshops to other musicians from all over the world.
Karl Berger - Music Mind traces his journey from Heidelberg via Paris to Woodstock and documents his celebrated anniversary concert at the Jazztage in Stuttgart last year.
A film by Julian Benedikt and Axel Kroell