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Monday, Jan 23 2006 | 14:12

The recordings of “Memphis Black” are soulful and pure. They show off the pulsating Hammond Sounds of Ingfried Hoffmann, that have made him the most exciting German organist of the 60s and 70s. This rare album “Soul Club” contains Hoffmann`s hammond originals and tunes that famous American artists released before – all in a warm soul style that pervades every tune on this classic recording session spotlighting the exciting but short-lived German studio project “Memphis Black.”

The Stax label, Carla Thomas or Booker T. & the M.G.’s, all out of Memphis, were personally dedicated to making soul music the popular music of the US and Europe. They established their musical style on an international scale and paved the way for the songs of Arthur Conley, Sam and Dave, Otis Redding or Aretha Franklin, that dominated the popular soul scene of the 60s. Then famous German producer Siegfried E. Loch came up with the idea to record a true hammond soul album with a studio group in Germany, presenting authentic “Black” music from “Memphis”.

And that’s what Ingfried Hoffmann & Band were trying to achieve. Their menu is strictly soul food: blues, gospel, soul and all the musical connotations that magnify the musical ability of black artists are apparent in a twelve-course meal, turning the listeners “on” with unique renditions of classic tunes and adding own compositions to the total colour of the instrumental album. “Why Don’t You Play The Organ, Man” and “Hang ‘Em High” were immediately pulled off the original Lp for DJs and consequently released on 7inches in the UK, having a great impact in the Northern Soul scene until today.

Composer and arranger Ingfried Hoffmann is a true creative genius and musical talent, always learning and growing in order to remain relevant to the complex and rapidly changing musical scene. Born in Stettin in 1935 and first of all playing Piano, he was already performing to audiences at the age of ten. Ingfried soon interrupted his studies of classical music and philosophy for playing jazz in various formations. After redording his first hammond jazz Lp with René Thomas, Helmut Kandlberger and Klaus Weiss in 1963, he soon became the organist of the internationally famous Klaus Doldinger Quartet and worked with jazz stars like Attila Zoller or Lucky Thompson on numerous outstanding productions. The man was also chosen for “best jazz pianist and organ player” in Germany and even toured with his own band “Steel Organ”, a name that he often used for his beloved Hammond B3.

Later on, Ingfried Hoffmann resigned from the organ scene in purpose of composing and arranging for the mass media, expressing his ability for the merging of different musical worlds within countless soundtrack productions, still working very successfully in Cologne until today. Is there an explanation for the musical versatility of Ingfried Hoffmann? “It’s the curiosity for experiencing the world and myself, staying interested in new tasks and realizing the necessity to leave secure paths in order to grow and search for the musical unusualness.” This man’s really got soul. (Sonorama December 2005/ Thanks to Ingfried Hoffmann)

The album Memphis BlackSoul Club” (Sonorama) is going to be released March 17, 2006.

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