Friday, February 05, 2010


A pianista de jazz alemã Jutta Hipp, nasceu no 4 de Fevereiro de 1925 em Leipzig, na Alemanha. Foi residente nos Estados Unidos por muitos anos e se expressou musicalmente nos idiomas do bebop e cool jazz. Na adolescencia Hipp frequentou a Academia de Artes de Leipzig, e se formou em design gráfico.

Depois da guerra, em 1946, escapou da Alemanha Oriental, onde se localizava a sua cidade natal, para a parte Ocidental do país, dividido pelos soviéticos. Começou a tocar jazz neste mesmo peiríodo, trabalhando com Hans Koller. Ainda na Alemanha liderou um quinteto, no qual, Emil, o irmão de Albert Mangelsdorff, era um dos integrantes.

Como pianista Hipp era notadamente ligada a tradiçãodo swing, chegando a admitir que seu estilo era influenciado pelos pianistas Count Basie, Teddy Wilson e Fats Waller. Na época em que a refugiada Hipp começou a tocar profissionalmentese na Bavária em 1946, o bebop chegou a Alemanha e se tornou a mais nova "moda" do jazz. Jutta adotou então um nova ídolo, o pianista Bud Powell. Ela negava as insinuações de que seu estilo sofria a grande influência de Lennie Tristano.

Foi integrante do quarteto de Hans Koller no inicio dos anos 50 e entre 54/55 liderou o seu próprio grupo. Jutta chegou em Nova York em novembro de 1955. É dela a honra de ter sido a primeira mulher branca e musicista européia, a assinar um contrato com a Gravadora Blue Note.

Em 1956 gravou um de seus melhores discos com o saxofonista Zoot Sims e obteve um contrato para tocar no famoso restaurante de Manhattan, Hickory House, onde permaneceu por seis meses. Foi reconhecida em seu país como talentosa pianista de jazz, entretanto, jamais retornou.

Devido a problemas financeiros, por falta de contratos com a musica, aos poucos foi abandonando a carreira artistica. Tornou-se, por questão de sobrevivência, costureira em uma pequena fábrica de roupas. Nas horas vagas passou a fotofgrafar os colegas de musica em vários clubes de Nova York e as enviava para Alemanha, onde eram publicadas. Dedicou-se também a outra paixão, a pintura e gravura, onde se destacou fazendo as caricaturas dos musicos de jazz de sua época e também para eles, escreveu vários poemas.

Hipp jamais se casou ou constituiu familia, mas permaneceu fiel a sua convicção de que o verdadeiro jazz acontece nos pequenos clubes, onde uma maioria de talentosos e completamente desconhecidos musicos de jazz, atuam com altíssimo índice de excelencia.

Jutta Hipp faleceu no bairro de Queens em Nova York, em Abril de 2003.

Jutta toca no Hickory House.

German jazz pianist Jutta Hipp, was born on February 4, 1925 in Leipzig, Germany. She was long resident in the United States who worked mostly in the bebop and cool jazz idioms.
As a teenager in Germany during World War II Hipp had attended the Leipzig Academy of Arts, majoring in graphic design. After the war, in 1946, she fled to the western half of Germany, leaving behind her now Soviet Army ruled home town of Leipzig. She began playing jazz during this period, working with Hans Koller for a time. In Germany she also led a quintet, Albert Mangelsdorff's brother Emil was one of the noteworthy members.

As a pianist Hipp was deeply rooted in the swing tradition and, self-admittedly, her performance style was influenced by Count Basie and Teddy Wilson as well as Fats Waller. By the time East German refugee Hipp begun playing professionally in Bavaria in 1946, bebop had arrived as the latest “fad” in "jazz". The pianist’s new idol became Bud Powell. And although critics, fellow musicians, and fans recognized Lennie Tristano's influence in her playing by the early ‘50s, she did not approve of such comparisons. Hipp was a member of the Hans Koller Quartet in the early 1950s and from 1954-55 led her own group. Hipp was able to claim the honor of having been the only widely known and highly respected female jazz pianist in Germany and beyond until the mid-1980s despite the fact that she never returned to her native country.

Jutta Hipp arrived in New York on November 18, 1955. Within months of her arrival in New York, Hipp earned the notable distinction of becoming the first white woman as well as the first European instrumentalist to be signed by the Blue Note label.

Hipp cut three albums as leader for Blue Note in 1956; an earlier album had been leased from Europe. The most successful of the 1956 recordings featured the tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims. (The record has been re-released in America, Japan and on grey market issues in Europe.) With Feather’s assistance Hipp landed a highly coveted six-month engagement at the renowned Hickory House Restaurant in Manhattan, subbing for the touring house pianist Marian McPartland, and was able to add a well-received debut at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival to her credentials. The Hickory House engagement was recorded by Blue Note and issued over two LPs.

Hipp was not interested in making her living by being billed as a headliner or in playing and recording music that did not move her. Hipp did not record again but booked herself for smaller venues in New York City, on Long Island, and for a few national engagements, including at least one tour of the South with other leaders. However, with jazz gradually moving out of the arena of popular culture, the anxieties resulting from the financial instability of her musician’s life proved too stressful for Hipp.

She was a single, self-supporting woman—without any family in the United States—and by the late 50s Hipp had taken on a day job as a seamstress at a clothing manufacturer in Queens, New York. After continuing to perform part-time on weekends until 1960, Hipp shifted her focus completely and returned to her first love: drawing and painting.

In 2000 several of her paintings were featured in an exhibition at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center in Corona, New York. The artist—who was known for her quick wit and hearty laughter—also drew caricatures of jazz musicians and dedicated poems to them. Over the years, several of her works were published by the German magazine Jazz Podium. Hipp was also a talented doll maker, creating a series of unique boudoir style dolls some of which she donated to the Museum of the City of New York.

Hipp never touched a piano again and many of her longtime post-jazz era friends were not aware of her history as a jazz pianist until they read the artist’s published obituaries. However, she always remained close to the music she loved. Equipped with a small camera, Hipp tirelessly chronicled concerts at small jazz clubs around Queens. Throughout the years, she took photos of many jazz musicians whose performances she had enjoyed and sent them to friends and jazz magazines in her native Germany.

Unshaken in her convictions stated decades earlier, and repeated in letters to friends throughout the years, Hipp never ceased to believe that the real jazz happened in small clubs, performed by superb musicians whose talents were not widely recognized because they did not push themselves into the limelight.

Hipp, who had never married, died of pancreatic cancer on April 7, 2003, in her apartment in Sunnyside, Queens. After her death , she became of some interest as a woman instrumentalist in the New York jazz scene.

Recommended CDs

Jutta Hipp at The Hickory House (1955)

Cool Europe (Has two tracks each by Johnny Dankworth, and Albert Hall) (MGM, 1955)
At the Hickory House, Vol. 2 (Blue Note, 1955)
Jutta Hipp With Zoot Sims (Blue Note) (1957)

Reference - Wikipédia
Tradução de Humberto Amorim

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