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George Gruntz

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George Gruntz
Background information
Born(1932-06-24)24 June 1932
Basel, Switzerland
Died10 January 2013(2013-01-10) (aged 80)
Basel, Switzerland
Instrument(s)Piano, keyboards
Years active1950s–2000s
LabelsEnja, TCB

George Gruntz (24 June 1932[1] – 10 January 2013)[2] was a Swiss jazz pianist, organist, harpsichordist, keyboardist, and composer known for the George Gruntz Concert Big Band and his work with Phil Woods, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Don Cherry, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, and Mel Lewis.[3]

Gruntz, who was born in Basel, Switzerland,[1] was also an accomplished arranger and composer, having been commissioned by many orchestras and symphonies. From 1972 to 1994, he served as artistic director of JazzFest Berlin.[1]

He died at the age of 80 in January 2013.[2]



As leader/co-leader

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1960 Mental Cruelty: The 1960 Jazz soundtrack Decca RecordsAtavistic Records released 1960, almost immediately withdrawn by the record company due to unresolved legal issues. Finally reissued in 2003 by Atavistic.
1964 Bach Humbug! Or Jazz Goes Baroque Quintet
1964 Jazz Goes Baroque
1965 Jazz Goes Baroque 2 – The Music of Italy
1967 Noon in Tunisia
1967 Drums and Folklore: From Sticksland with Love
1968 Saint Peter Power
1972? The Band – The Alpine Power Plant
1973? 2001 Keys – Piano Conclave
1974? Monster Sticksland Meeting Two – Monster Jazz
1974? Eternal Baroque
1976? The Band (Recorded Live at the Zürich Schauspielhaus)
1977? For Flying out Proud
1977? Percussion Profiles
1978? The George Gruntz Concert Big Band with Elvin Jones
1980? Live at the "Quartier Latin" Berlin
1983 Theatre ECM With big band
1986? Living Transition. With Radio Big Band Leipzig
1987 Happening Now HatHut
1989 First Prize Enja With big band
1989 Serious Fun Enja Most tracks trio, with Mike Richmond (bass), Adam Nussbaum (drums); one track quartet, with Franco Ambrosetti (flugelhorn) added
1991? Blues 'n Dues Et Cetera Enja
1992 Beyond Another Wall TCB With big band; in concert
1992? Cosmopolitan Greetings composition for big band, libretto by Allen Ginsberg
1994 Big Band Record Gramavision Co-led with Ray Anderson (trombone); with big band
1995 Mock-Lo-Motion TCB Some tracks trio, with Mike Richmond (bass), Adam Nussbaum (drums); some tracks quartet, with Franco Ambrosetti (flugelhorn) added; in concert
1998 Liebermann TCB With big band
1998 Merryteria TCB With big band
1999? Live at JazzFest Berlin
2000? Expo Triangle
2001 Global Excellence TCB With big band
2004 Ringing the Luminator ACT Solo piano
2003? The Magic of a Flute With big band, eight singers[4]
2005 Tiger by the Tail TCB With big band
2007 Pourquoi pas? Why Not? With big band[5]
2010? Matterhorn Matters
2012? Dig My Trane – Coltrane's Vanguard Years (1961–1962) with the NDR Bigband and Tom Rainey

Main sources:[6][7]


  • Sins'n Wins'n Funs – Left-cores and Hard-core En-cores, 1981–1990 (Compilation, released 1996)
  • The MPS Years, 1972–1981 (Compilation, released 1996)
  • Renaissance Man a.k.a. 30 + 70: The One Hundred Years of George Gruntz, 1961–2000 (Compilation, released 2002)

As sideman


With Franco Ambrosetti

See also



  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 175/6. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ a b "George Gruntz obituary". The Guardian. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  3. ^ "George Gruntz ist tot – Jazz – Musik – Kultur – Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen". Srf.ch (in German). 12 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  4. ^ Yanow, Scott. "George Gruntz: Grunt, Chotjewitz – The Magic of a Flute". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Henderson, Alex. "George Gruntz: Pourquoi Pas? Why Not?". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  6. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2004). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (7th ed.). Penguin. p. 677. ISBN 978-0-14-101416-6.
  7. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. pp. 612–613. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.