Michael Naura

Genre jazz, piano, jazz piano, german jazz, instrumental

Michael Naura (19 August 1934 - 13 February 2017) was a German jazz pianist , editor and publicist .

Born in Memel , Lithuania, Michael Naura grew up in Berlin and studied journalism, philosophy and sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin . He then worked as a pianist in swing jazz bands. From 1953 to 1964 he directed one of the most successful jazz bands in Germany, the Michael Naura Quintet. The music of this eclectic quintet was originally heavily influenced by George Shearing, then by Dave Brubeck and later by the hard bop of Horace Silver, but also by the chamber jazz of the Modern Jazz Quartet. The most important improviser in Naura's quintet was the vibraphonist Wolfgang Schlüter. Other musicians included the alto saxophonists Klaus Marmulla and Peter Reinke, the bassists Hajo Lange and Wolfgang Luschert, and the drummers Heinz von Moisy and Joe Nay .

In 1964, Naura had to go to the sanatorium Wintermoor for a year due to polyserositis. Probably caused by the daily work in the then heavily used jazz cellars (from 9 pm to 4 am, six days a week). Prominent German jazz musicians gave charity concerts to pay the necessary funds for the treatment. After his release, Naura retired from active musician life and worked as a journalist. After the death of Hans Gertberg he became a jazz editor at the Norddeutschen Rundfunk. Under his direction the station developed "the broadest and most interesting jazz program in Europe". He retired in 1999.

Naura was also a well-known jazz author. In addition to his articles in collectibles, magazines and newspapers, he also wrote liner notes for records and CDs. He had an extensive knowledge. His language was characterized by powerful metaphors . He did not shy away from occasional attacks. With the writer and lyricist Peter Rühmkorf a close personal and artistic friendship was established. In 2009, Naura received the honorary prize for radio journalism in jazz at the WDR Jazz Prize for his work. In retirement he turned to painting. He died in 2017 at the age of 82 in his place of Hollbüllhuus , a district of Schwabstedt near Husum.

Recordings ( Selection )
Down to Earth, 1958
George / Jankowski / Naura: Jazz In Germany, 1957-1958
Michael Naura Quintet, 1963
Call (with Wolfgang Schlüter, Eberhard Weber and Joe Nay), 1970
Rainbow Runner (as above), 1973
Vanessa (as above, as well as Klaus Thunemann ), 1974
No Apollo program for lyric poetry (with Wolfgang Schlüter, Eberhard Weber, Peter Rühmkorf), 1976
Country Children (with Wolfgang Schlüter), 1977
Phönix forwards (with Wolfgang Schlüter, Leszek Zadlo , Peter Rühmkorf), 1978
Ochsenzoll (with Wolfgang Schlüter, Herbert Joos , Albert Mangelsdorff ), 1985
Orangutan (with Wolfgang Schlüter, Claus Bantzer ) 1985
Naura Box.

Fortissimo - a German jazz music, 6 CDs, Gateway4m, 2009
Radio play
Chet Baker - The Long Fall. A scenic fantasy . Hoffmann and Campe Verlag, Hamburg 2002, ISBN 978-3-455-32005-3 , 1 CD, 57 Min.

Jazz-toccata , Rowohlt, Reinbek 1991, ISBN 3-499-19162-8 .
Cadenza: A Jazzpanorama , European Publishing House, Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-434-50537-7 .
Wolfram Knauer (Hrsg.): Jazz in Germany , Wolke Verlag, Hofheim 1996, ISBN 3-923997-70-1 , an interview with Naura.


Top Tracks

Take Us Down to the River 1

Take Us Down to the River

Soledad de Murcia 2

Soledad de Murcia

Black Pigeon 3

Black Pigeon

Salvatore 4


Listen To Me 5

Listen To Me

Baboon 6


Vanessa 7


Hills 8


Why Is Mary So Nervous? 9

Why Is Mary So Nervous?

M.O.C. 10


Top Albums



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