Volker Kriegel


Volker Kriegel (24 December 1943 – 14 June 2003)[1] was a German jazz guitarist and composer who was a founding member of the United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. He was also an author and a cartoonist.

Volker Kriegel
Background information
Born(1943-12-24)24 December 1943
Darmstadt, Germany
Died14 June 2003(2003-06-14) (aged 59)
GenresJazz, Jazz rock, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, author, cartoonist
Years active1962–2003
LabelsMPS, Mood
Formerly ofMild Maniac Orchestra, United Jazz + Rock Ensemble


Volker Kriegel performing with United Jazz and Rock Ensemble in 1992

Kriegel was born in Darmstadt on 24 December 1943.[2] He began to play the guitar at the age of 15.[2]

Kriegel studied sociology with Theodor Adorno, but in 1962 was already playing in a band with Albert and Emil Mangelsdorff in Frankfurt, and abandoned his studies.[2][3] He was then in a fusion band led by an American expatriate, vibraphonist Dave Pike, and recorded the album Noisy Silence – Gentle Noise (1969).[3] Concurrent with his work with Pike, Kriegel started Spectrum, and in 1975 also formed the Mild Maniac Orchestra.[3] He recorded with Don "Sugarcane" Harris on the album Keep on Driving (MPS, 1970), then signed with MPS and released the jazz-rock album Spectrum (1971).[3] Five years later he started the United Jazz + Rock Ensemble, a shifting collective that at various times included Charlie Mariano, Albert Mangelsdorff, Ack van Rooyen, and Barbara Thompson.[3] In 1977 Kriegel co-founded the label Mood Records, which released his own music and that of the United Jazz + Rock Ensemble.[2]

Kriegel drifted from music and started writing children's books.[3] "During the 1990s, he ceased his activities as a leader and concentrated instead on working as a composer and on his longstanding second career as a cartoonist; his illustrations appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, and animated films."[2] Manchmal ist es besser, man sagt gar nix, a book containing some of his cartoons and writings on jazz and other topics, was published in 1998.[2] He reunited the Ensemble for a tour in 2002.[3] He died of cancer[3] in Spain on 15 June 2003.[2]



As leader


With United Jazz + Rock Ensemble

  • Live in Schützenhaus (Mood, 1977)
  • Teamwork (Mood, 1978)
  • The Break Even Point (Mood, 1979)
  • Live in Berlin (Mood, 1981)
  • United Live Opus Sechs (Mood, 1984)
  • Round Seven (Mood, 1987)
  • Na endlich! (Mood, 1992)
  • Die neunte von United (Mood, 1996)

As sideman


With Klaus Doldinger

  • Doldinger Goes On (1967)
  • Doldinger Jubilee Concert, Passport (1974)

With Don "Sugarcane" Harris

  • Keep on Driving (1970)
  • Got the Blues (1972)
  • New Violin Summit (1972)
  • Keyzop (1975)
  • Flashin' Time (1976)

With Dave Pike

  • Noisy Silence – Gentle Noise (1969, MPS)
  • Four Reasons (1969, MPS)
  • Live at the Philharmonie (1969, MPS)
  • Album (1971, MPS)
  • Infra Red (1972, MPS)
  • Salomao (1973, MPS)

With others

  • Emil Mangelsdorff: Swinging Oil Drops (1966)
  • Kühn Brothers & The Mad Rockers (1969)
  • Jonny Teupen: Harpadelic (1969, MPS)
  • Curt Cress Clan: CCC (1975)


  • Carr, Ian; Fairweather, Digby; Priestley, Brian. Jazz: The Rough Guide, Penguin, 1995, ISBN 1-85828-137-7


  1. ^ "Volker Kriegel". Bibliothèque Nationale de France (in French). Retrieved 6 January 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Boulton, Heidi; Gammel, Marcus; Kernfeld, Barry (2003). "Kriegel, Volker". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J252500.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Ankeny, Jason. "Volker Kriegel". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Volker Kriegel: Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  • Official web site