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Volker Kriegel biography
VOLKER KRIEGEL is one of Europe's pioneering Fusion guitarists. During the sixties, he
left his study of sociology and started his music career instead. In 1968 Kriegel
started playing with American vibraphonist Dave Pike and started his first jazz fusion
group, THE MILD MANIAC ORCHESTRA. In 1971 he released his debut, "Spectrum", which is
considered his finest effort and was a milestone in European fusion.
Later he played guitar on two studio albums by the electric violinist Don "Sugar Cane"
Harris, "Keep On Driving" in 1970 and "Sugar Cane's Got The Blues" in 1971. In 1972 he
released hid second solo album "Inside: Missing Link". Two years later he founded
United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, as well as releasing several quality solo albums,
including "Lift" and "Journal". The United Jazz & Rock Ensemble united many of
Europe's excellent musicians, including Kriegel on guitar, providing most of the rock
sound. He played with the band throughout their 2002 farewell tour and died of cancer
in 2003. Aside from his music career, Kriegel was a writer/illustrator. Some of his best known
works include Der Rock 'n' Roll Konig (The Rock 'n' Roll King) and Olaf dem Elch (Olaf
the Moose).

Why this artist must be listed in :
Volker Kriegel is one of the finest jazz rock guitarists to come out of Europe and
fairly labeled "father of jazz-rock" by some. Recommended to all Fusion enthusiasts.


LIFT! (1973)
JOURNAL (1981)
ZOOM(compilation) (1999)

Volker Kriegel and Mild Maniac Orchestra:


With Don "Sugar Cane" Harris:


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  • Zoom Spectrum, 1971

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House BoatHouse Boat
MPS-Jazz 2014
Audio CD$9.20
$12.16 (used)
Volker Kriegel - Lost Tapes: Mainz 1963-1969Volker Kriegel - Lost Tapes: Mainz 1963-1969
Jazzhaus 2013
Audio CD$6.84
$6.84 (used)
Indie Europe/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$43.68
$13.81 (used)
With A Little Help From My Friends + BonusWith A Little Help From My Friends + Bonus
Audio CD$10.73
$15.59 (used)
Topical HarvestTopical Harvest
PID 2011
Audio CD$28.98
$60.46 (used)
Journal/palazzo BlueJournal/palazzo Blue
Audio CD$12.50
$11.50 (used)
Zoom: The Legendary MPS SessionsZoom: The Legendary MPS Sessions
MPS/Motor Music 1970
Audio CD$35.66 (used)
House Boat' by Volker KriegelHouse Boat' by Volker Kriegel
Audio CD$63.16
Schone Aussichten by Volker Kriegel (1990-05-02)Schone Aussichten by Volker Kriegel (1990-05-02)
Mood/Da Music Records/Ka
Audio CD$717.58
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VOLKER KRIEGEL discography

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

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

4.00 | 3 ratings
Keep on Driving (with Don "Sugar Cane" Harris)
4.00 | 5 ratings
4.08 | 7 ratings
Inside: Missing Link
3.93 | 8 ratings
3.05 | 3 ratings
Mild Maniac
4.00 | 4 ratings
Topical Harvest
4.00 | 3 ratings
Octember Variations
3.00 | 3 ratings
Volker Kriegel And Mild Maniac Orchestra: Elastic Menu
4.00 | 2 ratings
Long Distance
3.00 | 1 ratings
3.05 | 3 ratings

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

4.09 | 4 ratings
Sugar Cane´s Got The Blues (with Don "Sugar Cane" Harris)
3.00 | 1 ratings
Volker Kriegel And Mild Maniac Orchestra: Live In Bayern

VOLKER KRIEGEL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lift! by KRIEGEL, VOLKER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.93 | 8 ratings

Volker Kriegel Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. This is my favourite Volker Kriegel album and it was released in 1973. In a nutshell what we get is prominant bass along with John Marshall doing his thing on the drums while sax, violin, guitar and electric piano take turns leading and also filling out the sound.This is a fantastic album !

"Lift !" is such a beautiful track with the soprano sax leading early then it picks up before the violin leads before 2 minutes.The guitar with prominant bass comes in as it settles.The violin is back 3 minutes in then the sax leads again.Violin leads one more time as the tempo speeds up at the 6 minute mark.

"Three Or Two In One" features electric piano, sax, drums and more leading the way. I love this stuff. It's laid back and we get some guitar before 2 minutes leading then the violin with bass, electric piano and cymbals stand out.The sax then replaces the violin. Incredible track !

"Forty Colours" is a slow moving track with the violin leading followed by intricate guitar.

"A Piece With A Chord From A Yorkshire Terrier" is my favourite. I like the electric piano early but it's the electric guitar that starts to solo as the bass and intricate drumming help out that blows me away. Sax replaces the guitar 3 minutes in and the electric piano is prominant too. It settles back before 4 1/2 minutes with the bass leading. Cool !

"Electric Blue" is uptempo and violin led to start.The violin is shredding 2 1/2 minutes in. Sax leads 6 1/2 minutes in as the bass, drums and electric piano also standout. Nice. Big finish on this one.

"The Lame Donkey" is a laid back and intricate guitar led track with flute. "Between The Seasons" has a relaxed sound early then the electric piano leads after a minute and the bass stands out too.Violin 2 1/2 minutes in then the guitar returns.Violin again leads 4 minutes in.

"Blue Titmouse" is uptempo and intricate and perhaps a little known fact is that the blue titmouse actually has blue tits. I kid you not. Okay I lied.

A great album with some killer German and British musicians that will please Jazz / Fusion fans in a big way.

 Inside: Missing Link by KRIEGEL, VOLKER album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.08 | 7 ratings

Inside: Missing Link
Volker Kriegel Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Volker Kriegel's follow-up to "Spectrum" is a double album and a much more dynamic affair and more to my liking. He has some of the best German and British musicians around helping him out. It's interesting that the first LP has a different lineup than the second LP. The first LP has an eight piece lineup and was recorded on the 20th & 21st of March, while the second LP featured a five piece band and was recorded on the 22nd & 23rd of March. The most well known name for me is John Marshall on drums on the first LP. Lots of pictures in the liner notes and John is as usual very serious looking.

"Slums On Wheels" has such a great sound to start as the sax joins in. Intricate guitar then takes the lead as it settles some.The sax is back then the tempo picks up before 4 1/2 minutes. A calm 6 minutes in as intricate sounds come and go. It's building before 9 minutes and electric piano joins in. Nice. Bass and percussion continue. Sax before 10 1/2 minutes. Drums only from Marshall before 12 1/2 minutes then a full sound. What a way to start !

"The "E" Again" has a good rhythm as sax and guitar do their thing. Dissonant sax before 2 1/2 minutes. Electric piano leads a minute later. Sax is back before 6 1/2 minutes to end it.

"Zanzibar" is led by the bass and drums early then the horns come in just before a minute. The guitar then leads before the horns return before 3 1/2 minutes as it picks up. Some dissonance too. A calm before 5 minutes as bass and a beat with horns lead. It kicks back in before 6 1/2 minutes. Piano leads before 8 minutes and we get some nice bass a minute later. Sax is back 10 minutes in.

"Missing Link" opens with experimental sounds that come and go including vocal expressions. The music comes in after 2 minutes and starts to build. I like the drumming here. The horns start to blast then it settles back. A calm 5 minutes in then it starts to pick up with guitar leading the way. Nice. Horns take a turn before 7 1/2 minutes with lots of dissonance too. A drum show from Marshall 9 minutes in. Great sound before 11 minutes with sax leading then guitar. Killer tune.

The second LP is a little more stripped down but excellent none the less. "Fur Hector" is uptempo and guitar led. Piano takes the lead after 3 1/2 minutes.The guitar is back leading late.

"Remis" is percussion and keyboard led early and the bass is prominant too. The guitar then joins the fray. "Tarang" has a Middle Eastern vibe to it with lots of percussion. Strummed and intricate guitar comes in at 2 1/2 minutes before the opening ethnic soundscape returns to end it.

"Lastic Plemon" is led by the drums and keys and is quite energetic. Guitar before 3 minutes. "Janellias Abertas" is an intricate and laid back track.

"Plonk Whenever" is uptempo with the bass and drums pounding while the guitar and keys play over top. Great track.

"Definitely Suspicious" is one of my favourites. It has such an uplifting mood to it and the electric piano has a lot to do with that. "Finale" is 15 seconds of mainly intricate guitar to end it.

A solid 4 stars. Very enjoyable and a treat for the ears.

 Sugar Cane´s Got The Blues (with Don Live, 1971
4.09 | 4 ratings

Sugar Cane´s Got The Blues (with Don "Sugar Cane" Harris)
Volker Kriegel Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was a real find for me. Recorded live in Berlin in 1971 at the "Violin Summit" where producer Joachim Berendt put this supergroup together to celebrate the violin in Jazz and Blues. The lineup is killer ! These are some of the most well known players in Free-Jazz and Avant-Garde Rock.Yes Sugar Cane Harris is on violin, he had played with John Mayall as well as on a number of Frank Zappa albums including "Hot Rats", "Apostrophe" and many more. He's been called the Jimi Hendrix of violin. Add former SOFT MACHINE drummer Robert Wyatt who had just left that band. Neville Whitehead on bass who had recorded with many greats including Wyatt and Tippett and was part of the ELTON DEAN QUARTET, live SOFT MACHINE and ISOTOPE. On keyboards we get Wolfgang Dauner from the great German band ET CETERA. Volker Kriegel plays most of the guitar (3 tracks) while the amazing Terje Rypdal plays on one song. It still blows me away to think of Wyatt and Rypdal on stage together in the same band. Cool stuff right here folks.The surprising thing to me was that the violin doesn't dominate the proceedings like I thought it would. Sugar Cane comes across as a humble person who realized that he was surrounded with a very talented band and therefore he didn't try to steal the show. He does add vocals and does it well.This is very much a Blues / Jazz album,or should I say Jazz / Blues (haha).

"Liz Pineapple Wonderful" opens with someone speaking in German introducing the band.The music then comes in and it's uptempo with vocals.The violin replaces the vocals after 2 1/2 minutes. Great sound. The guitar leads before 4 1/2 minutes and the drumming is very active. Nice bass too I might add. The vocals are back after 7 1/2 minutes. Big finish after 9 minutes. Sugar Cane then announces the band quickly by their last names then says "out-a-sight". He compliments the audience too.

"Sugar Cane's Got The Blues" opens with violin then piano a minute in and other sparse sounds.Vocals cry out briefly 5 1/2 minutes in. Bass to the fore then the guitar joins in as it builds with drums.Piano joins in after 8 1/2 minutes then goes solo before 10 minutes. Cool section.Violin before 11 minutes and it becomes dissonant late as he cries out one more time. Huge applause after this song and every song.

"Song For My Father" is a Horace Silver cover. This is the song Terje Rypdal plays on.You can hear all the guys playing early on in a fairly laid back manner but that will change. So much going on here. Guitar to the fore 4 1/2 minutes and Terje continues to lead until 7 1/2 minutes when the violin returns. Such an incredible track !

"Where's My Sunshine" is a Bluesy number with vocals. Catchy too. Violin or vocals mainly lead although Kriegel leads on guitar 5 1/2 minutes in then piano. When the song ends Sugar Cane says "I'd like to introduce the fellas". He seemed to be in his glory at this concert and he deserves a lot of praise. Such a talented man.

Without question 4 stars and this is one album I will boast about owning. A pleasure.

 Spectrum by KRIEGEL, VOLKER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.00 | 5 ratings

Volker Kriegel Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Volker was somewhat of a pioneer in Germany when it came to Fusion. An extraordinary guitarist who on this his debut has surrounded himself with some incredible musicians.Volker also plays sitar on here although there's very little of it on this 1971 release. This isn't the most dynamic album i've ever heard, in fact it's pretty straight forward a lot of the time. We get a percussionist besides the drummer adding lots of intricate sounds.

"Zoom" opens with percussion as the sitar comes in breifly. Drums, bass and electric piano follow.The guitar starts to solo tastefully over the top. Electric piano replaces the guitar 3 1/2 minutes in then the sitar returns.

"So Long, For Now" is laid back and very jazzy. "More About D" opens with some atmosphere. I like the electric piano. It does pick up before 1 1/2 minutes. Nice. Some craziness follows then the bass, drums and guitar lead.The electric piano is back. It settles before 7 minutes and the bass leads.

"Suspicious Child, Growing Up" is a cool song with intricate guitar, electric piano, bass and drums. I like this laid back tune a lot. "Instant Judgement" has some intensity to it and is more uptempo.The guitar leads early then the electric piano leads 2 minutes in.The guitar returns late to lead.

"Ach Kina" is mellow and slow paced. It does pick up some late. "Strings Revisited" has these intricate sounds that come and go. Electric piano leads 2 1/2 minutes in then it's the guitars' turn after 4 minutes. Drums and percussion take their turn after 6 minutes.

A low 4 stars for this early German Fusion album.

 Mild Maniac by KRIEGEL, VOLKER album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.05 | 3 ratings

Mild Maniac
Volker Kriegel Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars German jazz guitarist Volker Kriegel has been hailed in certain quarters as the father of European jazz-rock. This is in part due to his work with the US avant-garde vibraphonist Dave Pike in his influential fusion combo The Dave Pike Set, as well as the subsequent series of erudite albums he himself produced for the MPS label during the early '70s. Mild Maniac (1974) was the fourth recording in that series. Kriegel was responsible for the cover illustration and design of this album; in addition to being a talented musician and producer, he also wrote and illustrated children's books. Another of his claims to fame was that he co- founded the United Rock and Jazz Ensemble with, among others, Jon Hiseman.

Another founder of this ensemble, bass player Eberhardt Weber, joins Kriegel on Mild Maniac. The other musicians are Rainer Bruninghaus (keys), Joe Nay (drums) and Swiss percussionist Peter Giger. The album consists of 6 instrumental pieces all of which were composed by Kriegel apart from the lengthy closer D-Dodel, which was a group composition. This is a 12-minute experimental piece built around an extended Weber bass solo. Kriegel's clean-toned guitar chats cosily with Bruninghaus's vibrant electric piano for the first few minutes (for me, Bruninghaus really steals the show on this album) before Weber's interruption. Speaking with my symphonic head on, the best way I can describe this is to imagine Moonchild with a lengthy bass improvisation. Not the most accessible of pieces, for sure.

The remainder of the album is more approachable. Mindwill has a nice laidback groove with synthesizer and electric piano weaving their way around Kriegel's electric and acoustic solos. I'm a bit of a jazz novice but I get the impression that the next piece, Prinz Eisenherz, might be the sort of track that is disparagingly called 'elevator music', pleasant though it is with more acoustic guitar and electric piano. The lively Schnellhorspiel moves along at a good pace although I find the temple blocks a little intrusive during Bruninghaus's solo. Still, this is one of the album's highlights. The title track is another one that's easy on the ear, featuring some wonderful rippling acoustic piano. Krieger's guitar is treated with different effects on penultimate track, The Visit, and this is another that bounces along nicely. By all accounts Spectrum is his best album, but this one is certainly good and therefore worthy of 3 stars.

 Zoom by KRIEGEL, VOLKER album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.05 | 3 ratings

Volker Kriegel Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by fuxi
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is an excellent, very generous two-disc compilation of jazz-rock, mainly from the early 1970s, and recommended to everyone who likes Larry Coryell or John McLaughlin. It's ESPECIALLY recommended to those who like the combination of wildly expressive electric guitar, a strong rocking rhythm section and a virtuoso vibraphonist. Most of the first disc was originally released by "The Dave Pike Set" (wonder how many bands would call themselves that way nowadays?), Pike being an American vibes player who settled in Germany during the late sixties. Although I'd heard of Volker Kriegel, I'd never heard of Pike until I bought this set, but he's wonderful, and if you enjoy Gary Burton's albums, I'm sure you'll feel right at home...

Of course this collection is also notable for Kriegel's highly enjoyable soloing, and for the fact that he surrounded himself with so many excellent players: there's Wolfgang Dauner and John Taylor on pianos (both electric and acoustic), some of the tracks have Eberhard Weber on bass and John Marshall on drums, one of the pieces even features Robert Wyatt (before his accident). Only the final three tracks of the second disc sound like generic fusion to me, not much more exciting than elevator music, but by that time you'll have more than two hours of highly enjoyable jazz-rock behind you!

 Topical Harvest by KRIEGEL, VOLKER album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.00 | 4 ratings

Topical Harvest
Volker Kriegel Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Henrock

4 stars This album of Kriegel is a beautifull sample of a nice and smod kind of jazz, rock and fusion style. He makes a mix of elements that give colors to his fine songs.

I recomend this album to all prog fans who like the mix of jazz in the progressive style.

Thanks to Zac M for the artist addition.

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