|Birth name||Klaus Ogermann|
|Born||29 April 1930|
|Origin||Ratibor (Racibórz), Upper Silesia|
|Genres||Top 40, Rock, Pop, Jazz, R&B, Soul, Easy listening, Broadway, Classical music|
|Occupation(s)||Composer, arranger/ orchestrator, conductor|
|Associated acts||Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra, Lesley Gore, Diana Krall, João Gilberto|
Life and work
Born in Ratibor (Racibórz), Upper Silesia, Ogerman began his career with the piano. He is definitely one of the most prolific 20th century arrangers and has worked in the Top 40, Rock, Pop, Jazz, R&B, Soul, Easy listening, Broadway and Classical music fields. The exact number of recording artists for whom Ogerman has either arranged or conducted during his career has still not yet been determined.
In the 1950s, Ogerman worked in Germany as an arranger-pianist with Kurt Edelhagen, Max Greger, and Delle Haensch. Claus (then Klaus) also worked as a part-time vocalist and recorded several 45 rpms under the pen name of "Tom Collins", duetting with Hannelore Cremer - and he also recorded a solo vocal with the Delle Haensch Jump Combo as well. In 1959, he moved to the United States and joined the producer Creed Taylor at Verve Records, working on recordings with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, Kai Winding and Cal Tjader - among countless others. Verve was sold to MGM in 1963. Claus Ogerman, by his own admission in Gene Lees' Jazzletter publication, arranged some 60-70 albums for Verve under Creed Taylor's direction from 1963-1967. During this time he also arranged a large number of pop hits, e.g. in 1961 "Cry To Me" by Solomon Burke, including also those of Lesley Gore. In 1966 Ogerman arranged and conducted Bill Evans Trio With Symphony Orchestra (Verve Records). In 1967 he joined Creed Taylor on the A&M/CTi label.
Claus Ogerman charted under his own name in 1965. The RCA single "Watusi Trumpets" reached #130 in the Music Vendor charts.
Ogerman arranged and conducted Diana Krall's 2001 album The Look of Love, and conducted on her DVD "Live in Paris". He also served as arranger and conductor for Krall's 2009 album Quiet Nights. He won the 2010 Grammy Award for "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)" for “Quiet Nights.”
Among Ogerman's most remarkable albums there are: Gate Of Dreams (WB 1977), from the music of the ballet Some Times; Cityscape with Michael Brecker (1982 Warner-Pioneer); Claus Ogerman Featuring Michael Brecker (GRP 1991). All include original compositions centered around the juxtaposition of jazz instruments and rhythm sections with classical music orchestra.
Ogerman has devoted himself almost exclusively to composing since the 1970s, his commissions including a ballet score for the American Ballet Theatre, Some Times, a work for jazz piano and orchestra Symbiosis for Bill Evans, a work for saxophone and orchestra Cityscape, for Michael Brecker, a song cycle Tagore-Lieder after poems by Rabindranath Tagore that was recorded by Judith Blegen and Brigitte Fassbaender, a Concerto for violin and orchestra, Lirico and a Sarabande-Fantasie for violin and orchestra recorded by Aaron Rosand, 10 Songs for Chorus A-Capella After Poems by Georg Heym that was recorded by the Cologne Radio Chorus, a work for violin and orchestra Preludio and Chant recorded by Gidon Kremer. In July 2008, he released an album of compositions with jazz pianist Danilo Perez entitled Across The Crystal Sea.
Ogerman's major influences as a composer remain Max Reger and Alexander Scriabin. He steadfastly maintains that he is not primarily concerned with "modernism" per se stating that his goal is to evoke an emotional response in the listener.
Work with Antonio Carlos Jobim
Ogerman arranged and conducted Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967), the first of two recordings that Frank Sinatra made with Jobim. Ogerman also arranged and conducted Jobim's The Composer of Desafinado, Plays (1963), A Certain Mr. Jobim (1967), Wave (1967), Jobim (1972), Urubu (1976) and Terra Brasilis (1980), on which he also played the piano. On the Jobim and Urubu albums, Ogerman was also the producer.
Filmography as composer
- Looking For Love (1964)
- The Bellboy and the Playgirls (1962)
- Ein Sommer, den man nie vergißt (1959)
- $100 a Night (1959)
- Mit Eva fing die Sünde an (1958)
- Rivalen der Manege (1958)
- Seine Hoheit war ein Mädchen (1958)
- Die Prinzessin von St. Wolfgang (1957)
- Die Unschuld vom Lande (1957)
- Ich war ihm hörig (1957)
- Liebe, wie die Frau sie wünscht (1957)
- Eine Verrückte Familie (1957)
- Weißer Holunder (1957)
- "The Work of Claus Ogerman" - a comprehensive site, dedicated to Ogerman
- Claus Ogerman discography at Discogs
- Klaus Ogermann at the Internet Movie Database