Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Weiss, Klaus

Weiss, Klaus, drums; b. Gevelsberg, Westfalen, Germany, 17 February 1942. His parents are Dr.Wolfgang Weiss (general practioner) and Agnes Weiss. His father played piano and church-organ and conducted a choir as hobby. Weiss taught himself to play drums and began his professional career at the age of 16 as a member of the Jazzopators, a group which accompanied American trumpeter Nelson Williams and also singer Inez Cavanaugh. From 1959-1960, he did studies at Kurt Edelhagen's Jazz dept. of Musikhochschule Cologne. From 1960-61, he did an engagement with the Tremble Kids, a Mainstreamband from Switzerland.

From 1962 to 1965 he worked with the Klaus Doldinger Quartet and during this time (1963) he had a spell in Paris, where he worked in the famous Blue Note club with Bud Powell, Johnny Griffin and Kenny Drew.

In 1965 he formed a trio which backed American saxophonists Don Byas and Leo Wright and Jamaican Wilton Gaynair. That same year Weiss was voted in the "Twen Magazine Jazz Poll" as Germany's top jazz drummer, toured with a group that included Sal Nistico and Dusko Goykovic and also played a tour with Don Menza. The following year Weiss's trio, now with pianist Rob Franken and bassist Rob Langereis, toured extensively as a trio as well as with Booker Ervin. That same year Weiss won the Twen Jazz Poll again as well as the the International Jazz Competition in Vienna.

After a spell with the Erwin Lehn Big Band (1967 - 68), Klaus Weiss moved to Munich, joined the Bayerischer Rundfunk Jazz Ensemble led by Joe Haider and appeared many times at Munich's celebrated Domicile club. In the late sixties and early seventies he worked with Austrian pianist Friedrich Gulda and became increasingly active as a studio musician. In 1971 he worked with a multinational quartet which featured Dutch saxophonist Ferdinand Povel, American bassist Jimmy Woode and Austrian pianist Fritz Pauer, and in the autumn of that year toured with an all-star orchestra which included Slide Hampton, Don Menza, Ack Van Rooyen, Fritz Pauer, Philip Catherine and Chuck Findley.

In the first half of the 1970s, Klaus Weiss worked with the Horst Jankowski Sextet, briefly with Max Greger's Big Band, the trio of former Mingus saxophonist Bobby Jones and the Eugen Cicero Trio. From 1975 to 1977 he toured with Mal Waldron and with the Dusko Goykovic Big Band and then, from 1978 until 1988, Weiss led a quintet which featured various guest soloists, including Sal Nistico, Roman Schwaller, Clifford Jordan and Andy Scherrer. He also played with Catalan pianist Tete Montoliu, with Eddie "Lockjaw Davis", with Francy Boland and with the WDR and NDR big bands. In the 1980s he toured with Clifford Jordan and Horace Parlan, played with multiinstrumentalist Jerome Richardson and toured with his new quintet.

In 1991 Klaus Weiss formed a new trio with Dutch pianist Rob van Bavel and bassist Thomas Stabenow and also put together the Saxophone Connection group (with Roman Schwaller, Andy Scherrer, Dado Moroni and Thomas Stabenow).

Greensleeves (1966); Mythologie (1971); Sunbirds (1971); I Just Want To Celebrate
(reissued as: Live At The Domicile) (1971); Sunbirds: Zagara (1972); The Git Go (reissued as: All Night Through) (1974); Drum Box (1974); Child's Prayer (1978);
On Tour (1979); Density (1979); Standards (1979); Salt Peanuts (1982);
Lightnin' (1984); Live At Opus 1 (1987); A Taste Of Jazz (1988); L. A. Calling (1991); Saxophone Connection (1992); A Message From Santa Klaus (1995)

As sideperson:
Mr. Adams Jazzopaters (1960, 1961); Klaus Doldinger Quartet + Afro Cuban; (1962)
Die Deutschen All Stars (1963); Klaus Doldinger: Jazz Made In Germany (1963); Ingfried Hoffmann and Rene Thomas: Hammond Tales (1963); Klaus Doldinger: Live At The Blue Note Berlin (1963); Attila Zoller: Jazz und Lyrik (1964); George Gruntz: Jazz Goes Baroque (1964); Franco Ambrosetti, Eddie Daniels, Jiggs Whigham, Fritz Pauer, Miroslav Vitous, Klaus Weiss: JAZZ Wien 1966 (1966); Hampton Hawes: Hamp's Piano
(1967); Friedrich Gulda: NDR Jazz Workshop (1969), It's All One (1970), As You Like It (1970), The Long Road To, Freedom (1971), Fata Morgana (1971); Eugen Cicero: Eugen Cicero's Chopin Festival (1973); Munich Big Band (1977); The Tremble Kids: 25 Years - The Tremble Kids Live (1977), Jumpin' The Blues (1978); Joerg Reiter: Simple Mood (1984); Thomas Stabenow: Chutney (1985); Francis Coppieters: Colours In Jazz
(1986); Jazz im Zentrum Highlights III; Great Jazz Tenors (1994)

Radio and television broadcasts:
Numerous live radio broadcasts for NDR Hamburg, Radio Bremen, SDR Stuttgart, WDR Cologne, BR Munich, DRS Zurich, ORF Vienna, HR Frankfurt and ZDF TV.
(reissued as : All Night Through)

Jazz in Deutschland "Klaus Weiss Trio" - Jazz Podium - March 1967
"Klaus Weiss Orchestra" (by Gudrun Endress) - Jazz Podium - April 1972
Klaus Weiss (by W.Urtlauf and W.Gross) - blues notes - 1 and 2 / 1976
Jazz aktuell "Klaus Weiss Quintett" (by Bernd Ogan) - Jazz Podium - March 1981
"Die Klaus Weiss Story" (by Hannes Eitner) - Drums & Percussion - May 1985
Rhythm Fascination, Die Story des Drummers Klaus Weiss - WOM Journal - November1985
Das Jazz-Portrait: Klaus Weiss (by Henning Fiebelkorn) - Jazz Zeitung - August 1986

Contact information:
Klaus Weiss
P.O. Box 1128
D - 85261 Pfaffenhofen - Germany
Fax: +49 (0)8441 83132
E-mail: klausweiss.d@t-online.de

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