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Thread: Passport's Keyboardist Kristian Schultze - Overlooked?

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    Passport's Keyboardist Kristian Schultze - Overlooked?

    Listening to Iguacu, one of my favorite Passport albums, I was drawn into the keyboard playing of Kristian for the first time after all these years. Doldinger and Cress get most of the spotlight on Passport releases, however, I was taken aback by what I heard on the title track and "Bird Of Paradise". He also starred on Cross Collateral and Infinity Machine, my other favorite LP's by this band.

    He really performs some amazing keyboard work on Fender Piano, Acoustic Piano and Organ for this great album and yet we hear little praise for his contributions to the band's body of work. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2011 but he was able to do some other projects with Roye Albrighton and his own band with Cusco.

    Any other admirers of this individuals work?

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Not so much of his individual work, but the keyboards were such an integral part of the Passport sound for a number of albums.
    Passport was one of the first jazz rock fusion bands I had any albums of. Kristian Schultze played on the ones I like the most - Looking Through, Cross Collateral, Infinity Machine, and Iguacu
    For me that was their best period.
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    Passport has enjoyed quite a long career in music, but there have been "periods" of change for the band, both personnel wise and musically. With the only constant being Klaus Doldinger himself. Who also performed as a keyboardist for the band, so unless you have a keen ear, its hard to discern just who is playing what, unless the record credits indicate one or another. For example, the Iguaçu album you suggested from 1977 Credits

    Bass Guitar – Wolfgang Schmid
    Composed By, Producer – Klaus Doldinger
    Drums, Berimbau – Curt Cress
    Electric Piano [Fender], Piano, Organ [Yamaha] – Kristian Schultze
    Engineer – Andy Mills (tracks: 4), Mal Luker
    Guitar – Roy Louis
    Percussion – Elmer Louis
    Synthesizer [Moog] – Klaus Doldinger (tracks: 7)
    Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Organ [Rmi], Flute – Klaus Doldinger

    I like all the passport incarnations, and the few records you selected are actually considered by many as their most progressive related on account of the use of synth, and syncopation with the drums. I always felt their records were a cut above for sound quality.
    But I always found something to like about most everything they did even on later lineups.
    As I am typing I am listening to Garden of Eden, featuring;
    Willy Ketzer - Pearl Drums, Percussion
    Dieter Petereit - Music Man Bass
    Hendrik Schaper - Keyboards
    Kevin Mulligan - Guitar, Vocals
    Klaus Doldinger - Saxophones, Clarinet, Keyboards
    An entirely different line up, funky, and melodic, with some great sounding keyboards from Hendrik Schaper and Doldinger.
    Last edited by MJBrady; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Great keyboard player. And I love all of Passport’s output from their proggier fusion to their mainstream “smooth jazz” stuff. Excellent music !

  5. #5
    My favorites are the first two and Cross-Collateral, followed quite closely by Looking Thru. Two of those are albums with Kristian Schultze on them. I was disappointed by Infinity Machine; the A-side is pretty much skippable but they stick the landing with the excellent B-side. I don’t really have time for them after that (though I admit that the cover for Ocean Liner was cool).
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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Don't forget 'Hand Made' (1973) - probably my favorite (allthough Kristian Schultze is not on it)




    The whole thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ews...J2N6cc&index=1

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    This was the track from Passport that first caught my attention (from Infinity Machine). Borrowed the album on the library because of the album cover.


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    Member Camelogue's Avatar
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    First 5 or 6 Passport albums were all excellent. All the musicians are top notch.

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camelogue View Post
    First 5 or 6 Passport albums were all excellent. All the musicians are top notch.
    In my ears they lost their trademark-sound & style after Infinity Machine.

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    ^^^

    Good input and comments on this band and their body of work. I still believe that it's no coincidence that Schultze was featured as keyboardist on some of their best releases. His playing is a key component on those great albums.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    In my ears they lost their trademark-sound & style after Infinity Machine.
    Agreed. I lose interest after that, but I find all of those first six albums to be really enjoyable.

    As far as Kristian Schultze being a little overlooked, I think that's probably true. Honestly, I've never given much thought to who played keys in Passport. I wouldn't know their drummer either had he not done a fine solo record. But what I think are the best of these Passport releases (my favorites, anyway) all have Schultze on keys. He probably deserves some props as a really good but somewhat overlooked player.

    Bill

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Honestly, I've never given much thought to who played keys in Passport. I wouldn't know their drummer either had he not done a fine solo record.
    Curt Cress? Bill, do you honestly imply that you never took note of his seminal playing on albums like Cross-Collateral?

    Any band donning input by a player like Volker Kriegel could hardly show for a single underrated performer. I could see it if this was about someone like Rainer Brüninghaus' work with Eiliff, but Passport and indeed Doldinger became the biggest name in West-German fusion pretty early on. Of course, Passport's music was never really keyboards-based to begin with.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Curt Cress? Bill, do you honestly imply that you never took note of his seminal playing on albums like Cross-Collateral?
    Maybe I didn't phrase that right. Certainly the drumming in Passport is great, but I'm not sure I'd really know Cress' name that well had it not been for CCC. Likewise, I love the keys in Passport, but I honestly had to go look and see who played on what album (I did have a sense that Doldinger played some keys, which he does, but I'm not certain how much is him on the records).

    That's the sense in which I think these players might be overlooked, having more to do with their name recognition than the quality of their playing in Passport, which is excellent.

    Bill

  14. #14
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Curt Cress's effective dynamic style is noticable where ever he performs.

    He is also on Hellmut Hattler's (Kraan) first solo album Bassball.
    For legal reasons he was mentioned as Truc Sserc on the first vinyl and CD releases.

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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    For legal reasons he was mentioned as Truc Sserc on the first vinyl and CD releases.
    I'm sure that that fooled ALL the lawyers!
    Steve F.

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  16. #16
    ^ Cress is nowadays apparently a professor emeritus of percussions at the Hochschule in Hamburg. I've known a handful of conservatory-trained musicians in my day here in Norway, and they -all- kept referring to the Hochschule (für Musik und Theater) as the absolute ace of educational institutions for music in Northern Europe.

    So Mr. Sserc is no damn slouch. According to Wiki, he even played with Falco, Rick Springfield and - wait! - Milli Vanilli. He's the very essence of eclectic.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^ Cress is nowadays apparently a professor emeritus of percussions at the Hochschule in Hamburg. I've known a handful of conservatory-trained musicians in my day here in Norway, and they -all- kept referring to the Hochschule (für Musik und Theater) as the absolute ace of educational institutions for music in Northern Europe.

    So Mr. Sserc is no damn slouch. According to Wiki, he even played with Falco, Rick Springfield and - wait! - Milli Vanilli. He's the very essence of eclectic.
    Udo Dahmen (Kraan a.o.) was also associated with the Hochschule in Hamburg.
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udo_Dahmen

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I'm sure that that fooled ALL the lawyers!
    Germans only reads forward!

    On the covers of the re issues it says Curt Cress

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    Member Bake 2's Avatar
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQJK...nel=Relicsable

    Dunno if he's overlooked, but I think this record is. IMO it's just %^$#*** groovy as hell and has a dated, (in a good way) European jazz rock soundtrack vibe pretty much through the whole disc, maybe a little more Ian Carr than Doldinger, which ain't necessarily a bad thing.

  20. #20
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    So Mr. Sserc is no damn slouch. According to Wiki, he even played with Falco, Rick Springfield and - wait! - Milli Vanilli. He's the very essence of eclectic.
    Cress also played on Saga's albums Wildest Dreams (1987) and The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes (1989). You can see him in the video for "Only Time Will Tell."

  21. #21
    I always felt that Hand Made was a bit of a misstep. I think it was just that Mr. Doldinger was beaten down by one too many lineup shifts. Things coalesced with Looking Thru, though, and they went on to make 2(½) of the best albums of their career. Note that this is not to denigrate John Mealing, a musician whose playing I enjoy very much. I just felt that the material on Hand Made was a bit sub-par, especially considering what surrounded it.
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