A bag full of musicians, a studio and then? – Interview with Werner Hüsgen


Selecting musicians and keeping them on the rails, recording a CD, looking for a publisher, establishing a product on the market and brushing pawls again and again to present the music live. No easy task in today’s music market.

Nevertheless, saxophonist Werner Hüsgen has set out and written music for a cast of eight.

In today’s interview he gives impressions in the compositional process. He takes us on an exciting journey around the product CD and the musicians who realize his ideas.

Some topics of the conversation

  • Studio earlier and today
  • The secret of a good production
  • Composition and band sound
  • Samples and nerves
  • Club of the “Late-Called”
  • Existence at the music market
  • Band leader and psychologist?

Music in the program

  1. “Andalusian Dream”, Werner Hüsgen, CD “Cobalt Blue”, 2017 Unit Records
  2. “Le Maghreb”, Werner Hüsgen, CD “Cobalt Blue”, 2017 Unit Records
  3. “Ole”, John Coltrane, CD “Ole”, 1961 Atlantic Records
  4. “Cobalt Blue”, Werner Hüsgen, CD “Cobalt Blue”, 2017 Unit Records

Werner Hüsgen

“A certain anarchy is indeed creatively beneficial”

Werner Hüsgen is a German jazz musician – saxophonist, composer and band leader who lives in the German-Dutch-Belgian border area and has excellent contacts in the jazz scenes of Amsterdam and Cologne.

He studied from 1980-1985 at the Musikhochschule Köln saxophone with Hugo Read and Wolfgang Engstfeldt, arrangement with Wolfgang Breuer with degree in instrumental pedagogy. In 1985, he spent a semester at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA; saxophone with Joe Viola and George Garzone, arrangement with Bob Freedman; 1986 one academic year at the Conservatoire Amsterdam, saxophone with Ferdinand Povel, arrangement with Rob Madna.

Werner has been playing professionally in many bands and projects for more than 30 years. Numerous CD releases under his own name and as Sideman last (LuxAries) and (Act-Music). Radio / TV productions, club / festival concerts worldwide with Chet Baker / Jaques Pelzer, Mighty Flea Connors, Jeff Hamilton & Lynn Seaton, Nils Landgren, “Wall Street Crash”, Je Titulaar, Werner Neumann, Christoph Titz, Carlo Nardozza, Helen Sachs, Garrett List, Henk Meutgeert (director of the Concertgebouw Bigband Amsterdam), Eef Alberts, John Thomas, Rob Bruynen, Peter Engelhardt, Marcel Richard, Ari den Boer, Jurre Hogervorst, Lucas Leidinger.

With his current project, he ties in with his Amsterdam fusion band PULSE. This time, however, the music is essentially instrumental and filled with excellent musicians, who are based in the jazz scenes of Amsterdam, Cologne and the Euregio. Hüsgen’s own compositions play in part with the traditions of acoustic and electric jazz great formations, but break through them again and again with surprising twists and turns in elaborate arrangements that exploit the numerous tones of a band with four brass and additional percussion in an astonishing way. Lyrical passages and powerful rock parts complement each other to a wonderful overall work of art, never lifted off but always equipped with a certain edge, the well-established listening habits on its head. Jazz, which draws from the roots of Soul, R & B and Latin.

After first concerts in 2015, including at the InFront Festival in Aachen, the band recorded an audio / video production in the spring of 2016. the album “Kobaltblau” was released on 16 June 2017 at the renowned Schweitzer Jazz Label Unit-Records.

“The point that cost me the most time in production was the selection of musicians to make”

Werner’s little song – Top Ten (without ranking!)

  • John Coltrane Quintet – Ole
  • Phil Woods – Musique du Bois
  • Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
  • Miles Davis – We Want Miles
  • Chick Corea – Light as a feather
  • Cannonball Adderley – Jazz Masters
  • Michael Brecker – Some Skunk Funk
  • Marcus Miller – Tales
  • St. Germain – Tourist
  • Snarky Puppy – We like it here

Discography (excerpt):

  • PULSE, Cobalt Blue (Unit Records 2017)
  • Batzi Gürke, Points of View (dewey records 2015)
  • Werner Hüsgen Quartet (LuxAries 2012)
  • Cologne Jazz Orchestra (WDR Production 2005)
  • Brownie speaks (WDR production 2002)
  • PULSE, Jazz me up! (Act 1998)

Current projects (excerpt):

  • PULSE
  • Werner Hüsgen Quartet
  • Big Bandits
  • Electronic Reserch