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PASSPORT

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Germany


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Passport biography
PASSPORT was a German jazz/fusion group formed in 1971. Founded by Ace Saxeman, composer and arranger Klaus Doldinger along with Curt Cress (percussion), Kristian Schultze (keyboards), and Wolfgang Schmid (bass & guitar). This was the classic lineup that started with their 4th album "Looking Thru" in 1973, their first US release. I'm not familiar with their first 3 albums, but outside Klaus, the lineup was pretty different. This classic lineup continued through the next 5 albums. Utilizing spacey electronic jazz with rock and classical styles, this group was very groundbreaking. Klaus has a knack for coming up with some of the most beautiful saxe melodies you ever heard. Curt Cress was probably one of the first drummers to experiment with electronic drums. Bassist Wolfgang Schmid's classical guitar adds a nice demension. And Kristian Schultze's use of synth and mellotron gives them an expansive orchestral sound. After their 8th album, PASSPORT went through many different incarnations with only Klaus as the common denominator in all of them. In the 80's, Klaus did other projects like motion picture soundtracks, most notably "Das Boot". But PASSPORT still to this day records and performs (mostly in Europe, they came to the US only once) with various personnel. But it was the classic lineup that expanded their audience and gave them critical acclaim.

: : : Mark Harding, USA : : :

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PASSPORT shows & tickets


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PASSPORT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PASSPORT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 46 ratings
Passport - Doldinger
1971
3.35 | 35 ratings
Second Passport
1972
3.24 | 35 ratings
Hand Made
1973
3.34 | 45 ratings
Looking Thru
1974
3.62 | 67 ratings
Cross-Collateral
1975
3.45 | 28 ratings
Infinity Machine
1976
2.69 | 24 ratings
Iguaçu
1977
2.96 | 21 ratings
Ataraxia (Sky Blue)
1978
2.82 | 16 ratings
Garden Of Eden
1979
2.31 | 16 ratings
Oceanliner
1980
3.69 | 11 ratings
Blue Tattoo
1981
3.87 | 11 ratings
Earthborn
1982
2.28 | 13 ratings
Man In The Mirror
1983
3.00 | 7 ratings
Running In Real Time
1985
2.40 | 5 ratings
Heavy Nights
1986
2.60 | 5 ratings
Talk Back
1988
2.50 | 2 ratings
Balance Of Happiness
1990
2.00 | 1 ratings
Blues Roots
1991
3.50 | 2 ratings
Down To Earth
1993
3.33 | 3 ratings
Passport To Paradise
1996
2.00 | 1 ratings
Move
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Passport Rmx Vol.1
2002
2.00 | 1 ratings
Back To Brasil
2003
3.50 | 4 ratings
To Morocco
2006
2.00 | 1 ratings
Inner Blue
2011

PASSPORT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.84 | 9 ratings
Doldinger Jubilee Concert
1974
3.25 | 8 ratings
Doldinger Jubilee '75
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
Lifelike
1980
2.95 | 3 ratings
Passport - Live
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
On Stage
2008

PASSPORT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PASSPORT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Doldinger
1973
3.00 | 1 ratings
2 Originals
1977
3.00 | 1 ratings
Spirit Of Continuity: The Passport Anthology
1995
3.00 | 1 ratings
Passport Control
1997

PASSPORT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Schirokko / Continuation
1972

PASSPORT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hand Made by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.24 | 35 ratings

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Hand Made
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In a creative orgasm Passport's third actual album became reality in 1973.This time there is no John Mealing or Bryan Spring around, instead Doldinger invited German veteran drummer Curt Cress, while a young keyboardist named Frank Roberts, who had just released a single on Atlantic, would join the rest of the team on electric piano and organ.No surprise, he would later become a member of Isotope.This work would again be released on Atlantic, entitled ''Hand made''.

To my ears ''Hand made'' sounds closer to traditional Jazz-Rock that the first two Passport offerings, that means the band delivers a more loose and even more energetic style, which is a nice thing, but fails a bit in terms of consistency, like during the useless drum/bass monologue on ''The connexion''.Moreover Doldinger would sacrifice some of the previous incredible spaciness in the name of funkier and upbeat tunes.Still there are plenty of good moments to find in the album.Wolfgang Schmid's throbbing bass lines have finally become a trademark of the group, the same occurs for Doldinger's long and melodic sax solos.Doldinger along with Roberts are also responsible for Passport's impressive keyboard-driven depth on this release, which includes COLOSSEUM-like organ moves, soaring synthesizers, nervous electric piano and additionally some clavinet on ''Proclamation'' (no connection with Gentle Giant's self-titled track from ''The power and the glory'', even if there is where the clavinet appears).As with every Passport album, there is a good bunch of synth fanfares and organ runs with Doldinger keeping a great balance between sax-driven soundscapes and other instrumental parts, bassed on groovy moves, jazzy free-stylings and a tight prog content.

''Hand made'' appears to be slightly less experimental and daring compared to Passport's strong early steps.But this does not mean it is not a good album.It still is a good Fusion creation by Doldinger & co. with nice organ/synth work, impressive electric piano and a dominant sax flavor.Recommended.

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 Running In Real Time by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.00 | 7 ratings

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Running In Real Time
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars It's quite impressive knowing Passport as they were very productive in generating albums and this "Running in Real Time" was their 14th studio album since their first inception in 1971. Many have considered this Germany-based band in comparison with its American counterpart Weather Report eventhough the music is not quite the same. This release is quite surprise to me as it features two kind of music: the original root of Passport with its jazz-rock fusion style with many saxophone work and those with vocals where the music tend to be R&B instead of jazz.

The opening track "At Large" demonstrates the original root of Passport in jazz-rock fusion style featuring sax solo combined nicely with guitar work laid over jazzy rhythm section. The next track "Auyrin" is a slow speed jazzy tunes with sax as main melody backed with solid basslines. There is also nice guitar solo right after sax. These two opening tracks resembles the original style of Passport music. "Talisman" is explorative in nature, demonstrating bamboo flute played by the band leader Klaus Doldinger cmbined nicely with vocals as well as excellent percussion by the band's long serving drummer: Curt Cress. Starting with "Help Me" Passport made an effort to do differently, introducing vocal by Victoria Miles. The music has the kind of R&B style. But of course it's not a typical R&B you can hear easily at radio station. It's in fact quite enjoyable.

Overall, I consider this album is a good one especially for those who love jazz-rock fusion but don't get surprises if you find some kind of R&B music as the vocal enters. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Garden Of Eden by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.82 | 16 ratings

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Garden Of Eden
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by VOTOMS

1 stars Have no fun, dude, unless you like to play and have fun pressing the "skip" button. I found Passport - Garden of Eden, used and cheap. I never had tried any Passport album before, so... why not? The album cover is fine and looking at the tracklist, the Garden of Eden was an eight minutes suite, it took my interest. But I am so sorry. It couldn't be worst. It was a cheesy, easy- listening and non-memorable soft/jazz-pop. Nothing catchy, nothing creative. Big Bang doesn't made me happy, and the suite... what a boring track. The rest of the album? Just few new-age pop and poor stuff. Please, try their early stuff.

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 Ataraxia (Sky Blue)  by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.96 | 21 ratings

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Ataraxia (Sky Blue)
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BORA

4 stars The last good album before drastic change in direction.

Passport is Klaus Doldinger's vehicle. An extremely productive composer, performer, the band allows for some stretching out alongside his other works for German TV, where he provided countless soundtracks for noted TV-series, as well as movies. Some of those works are equally good compared with Passport and it's of a surprise to me that Doldinger didn't merit a separate listing on PA.

I was fortunate to catch the band live on their promotion tour of "Ataraxia". The performance was studded with great improvisations on all instruments and this album contains elements of that - albeit in a condensed form.

The first half of the album is a pure delight. The two-part title tune slowly builds from a tastefully mellow start to a gutsy finish, then followed by a number of excellent pieces. It's European Jazz- Rock at it's best.

What follows is a bit of a mixed bag of goodies. Still some nice compositions/melodies professionally arranged and delivered. The emergence of the odd Disco rhythm though - whilst not that horrible - points in the direction Passport were heading towards on their future releases.

The band is like a revolving door where members come and go regularly. This line-up is one of the best and able to deliver fluid and smooth works, unlike some awkwardly fragmented and rigid lines that tend to plague many Teutonic artists.

Altogether, the album remains a worthy addition and recommended. Most other works by Passport pre-Ataraxia are also excellent

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 Looking Thru by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.34 | 45 ratings

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Looking Thru
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The fourth album from Germany's premier Fusion ensemble saw Klaus Doldinger and company finally hitting their stride: the band had settled into a stable line-up, and the music was fast approaching its cosmic jazz-funk zenith. That opening burst of synths and mellotron at the top of "Eternal Spiral" signaled a further shift in style toward the rockier end of the Jazz Rock spectrum, emphasized by a dramatic volley of drumming by the peerless Curt Cress, always a great way to kick-start an album.

What follows is often too straightforward for traditional Fusion. The title track showcases Doldinger's deft touch with a tenor sax throughout eight enjoyable minutes of carefree grooving. And the melodic 4/4 beat driving ersatz pop tunes like "Rockport" and "Tarantula" make both resemble theme songs to some long-forgotten '70s TV sit-com, although each has a toe-tapping catchiness that can't be denied.

The music stretches out more during the album's latter half, but not enough to seriously challenge the listener's enjoyment. "Eloquence" opens with a bit of primitive (hand-triggered) electronic percussion. And Doldinger's freeform playing on the closing "Things to Come" promises exactly that: a brief preview of the band's more adventurous "Cross-Collateral", released the following year.

It's not what anyone would call a groundbreaking effort, and was never intended as such. But "Looking Thru" remains one of the more pleasant collections of instrumental music listed on this site: the perfect headphone escape from the plummeting temperatures of mid-January (as I write this, in the American Northeast). The album has so far earned an almost unanimous good-but-not-essential rating, and I'm not prepared to buck that trend. But my own three stars are at least offered with a little more enthusiasm than some.

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 Second Passport by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.35 | 35 ratings

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Second Passport
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Klaus Doldinger's band would officially be named Passport after the first great album, but the line-up for the second upcoming release would totally change.Doldinger recruited Americans John Mealing and Bryan Spring on keyboards/piano and drums respectively, while the bass and guitars were responsibilities of Wolfgang Schmid.Another product for Atlantic, ''Second passport'' would see the light in 1972.

All titles are composed by Doldinger and this is another almost perfect example of dynamic, rich and powerful Jazz/Fusion with a sound somerwhat split between the British scene and the Kraut aesthetics.From the great GENTLE GIANT-like opening tunes of ''Mandragora'' to the loose jamming of ''Nexus'' and the restless sax breathing of Doldinger, the album makes it clear already from its starting point that this is an excellent work of deep inspiration.''Fairy Tale'' offers back this unique Space/Jazz approach of Passport, already listened on their debut, with the beautiful combination of electric piano, hypnotic rhythms and melodic saxes.The later tracks are also magnificent, having a sound balanced between Brass-like Rock, Canterbury Fusion and Kraut-Jazz.Ultra deep and powerful bass lines, great organ parts, jazzy guitar solos, light electric pianos and of course Doldinger's sax interventions, the tracks scan the path from tightly structured passages to fully improvised solos and interplays in a very succesful way, that sounds no less than highly entertaining and extremely professional.

Another highlight in Doldinger's long discography.''Second Passport'' is one of these albums that can make even someone who dislikes Jazz listen to it several times.Highly recommended, definitely an album of All-Star level regarding the Jazz/Fusion stylings.

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 Passport - Doldinger  by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.91 | 46 ratings

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Passport - Doldinger
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by presdoug

5 stars Deciding on Passport's best album, for me, was not easily done. Their first seven, 1970s studio albums are all five star efforts, but the kudos go to "Passport-Doldinger", the first one, in the final analysis.

Everything about this record is "so right". Individual numbers have varying moods within, and Passport's sound here is definitely "traveling music". The resulting musical journey is a multi-faceted one, and there are no weak tracks, or weak, out of place places in existing numbers.

Doldinger and company know how to get into a groove, but do interesting and refreshing things with that groove, once you are in it. This is an instrumental album, and all instruments playing (sax, keys, drums, guitar, bass, flute) are doing interesting and groundbreaking things that makes "Passport-Doldinger" an important and pivotal musical offering, and exciting and a thrill to listen to.

A run of the mill approach to instrumentation can most easily and quickly spell disaster to a fusion group, especially in early, competitive world of jazz rock here in 1971, but on this album, things are never just ordinary. The music is focused and professional, and that is quite impressive, especially considering that this is a debut record by the band.

I get the feeling that I'm hearing not only the best Passport album, but just about the best fusion record, period, from this era-it is that good. Five stars.

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 Cross-Collateral by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.62 | 67 ratings

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Cross-Collateral
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I only knew the band when I saw one of the song, the third track 'Jadoo' was featured in a compilation cassette titled as 'Rock'n'Jazz 2' in 1976. I was amazed with how the track is a dynamic jazz-rock composition performed in relatively fast tempo. I did not imagine by that time that jazz could be performed in such speed. Things that impressed me in addition to its fast speed, the drum work was so excellent combined with keyboard and brass section. Since then I tried to locate the full album and finally I found out that the whole album of 'Cross-Collateral' is really an enjoyable one. The opening track 'Homunculus' (6:09) is nice jazz-rock outfit with excellent drumming at opening part and as it flows with the music. The electric piano / organ solo is also nice throughout the track. But what I really like about the album despite Jadoo is the second track 'Cross-collateral' (13:38). I especially enjoy the soprano / tenor sax dynamic solo on top of dynamic drumming work augmented with electric piano work. I think the drumming style of Curt Cress is as good as Billy Cobham -- especially when I refer to 'Spectrum' album. In fact I like this track more than Jadoo.

The other tracks 'Will-O'the-Wisp' (6:15), 'Albatros song' (5:18), and 'Damals' (4:38) are also good tracks to enjoy especially if you like sax solo backed with powerful drumming. Yes, the drumming part makes PASSPORT music's quite unique and enjoyable. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Cross-Collateral by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.62 | 67 ratings

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Cross-Collateral
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars On Cross-Collateral Klaus Doldinger experiments with making his keyboards and synthesisers more prominent in Passport's sound, with mixed success. On some tracks, such as Homunculus or Jadoo, his newly acquired Moog adds an interesting texture to proceedings, but just as often it feels out of place. The major issue, to my ears, is that Doldinger adds the Moog to otherwise conventional fusion arrangements in which there isn't really space for another instrument, rather than structuring his compositions and arrangements in order to allow room for the synthesiser. And when you look beyond the synthesisers, what's left is a very typical Passport album along the lines of every single other album the group had put out to this point.

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 Looking Thru by PASSPORT album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.34 | 45 ratings

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Looking Thru
Passport Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Of the tracks on Looking Thru, the most intriguing one is probably the opening Eternal Spiral, which sees bandleader Klaus Doldinger incorporate synthesisers into the group's music to a greater extent than seen previously. Whilst much of the rest of the material on here is competently performed middle-of-the-road fusion, the synthesisers come back here and there, adding a texture to the group's music not to be found in the likes of, say, Weather Report - who appear to be their primary fusion inspiration this time around. This results in an interesting album which should provide an entertaining listen to fusion fans, but at the same time it doesn't quite manage to be memorable enough to be widely recommended.

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