Reviews of the film

Inge Brandenburg

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"Worth seeing"

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"Impressive artist biography; very worth seeing portrait! - Sing, Inge, sing is a worthy consolation for a great missed opportunity in German post-war music history. An album of radio recordings prolongs the enjoyment of this unique voice."

"A gripping portrait of a singer who was not allowed to be what she wanted to be - and who broke as a result."

"...a wonderful monument"

"An overdue rediscovery!"

"Moving portrait of the grandiose yet always misunderstood German jazz musician." 

"There is much to praise in this lively portrait. A valuable rediscovery"

"A great documentary. Well worth going in!"

You can tell from every minute of Marc Boettcher's performance that his aim was to create an ambitious work against oblivion. Two hours that fly by and make a lot of desire for a CD by Inge Brandenburg with her multifaceted, dark voice." (Anne Daun, Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, 27.10.2011)

"A two-hour documentary painting."

"Gold Throat. Boettcher meticulously traces the singer's life and career with the help of visual and audio documents, as well as interviews with former companions, and sensibly gives a lot of space to her performances in particular, which provide surprisingly fascinating evidence that here is an interpreter of world stature completely forgotten. Worth seeing!"

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"There are treasures that simply have to be lifted. The jazz singer Inge Brandenburg with her extraordinary voice is definitely one of them. - The exciting contemporary document is supplemented by interviews with German music and jazz greats - but the crowning glory is Inge Brandenburg's performances."

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"A powerful, honest portrait that works well....Watching the film, viewers are inevitably struck with angry disappointment. SING! INGE, SING! is a late reappraisal of the history of a central representation of West German female jazz that lies hidden under a thick layer of dust. Boettcher stirs up the dust and puts together almost forgotten pieces, making the film a sensitive portrait and a piece of history at the same time. Perhaps the time is finally ripe for Inge Brandenburg."

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"The rediscovery of a woman who knew how to use her grandiose voice with virtuosity and develop surprising interpretations - in short: the presumably best jazz singer Germany has ever produced."

"With the portrait and a CD, Boettcher was still able to posthumously fulfill her greatest wish for the jazz singer, who never gave up the will to live out her talent."

"Marc Boettcher's award-winning film about Inge Brandenburg fortunately doesn't come across as slick as a Guido Knopp history lesson, despite the many nicely prepared snippets of contemporary witnesses, but instead gives the portrayed person the most space (especially acoustically). And that's what makes the film so exciting, because as soon as Inge Brandenburg sings, things get magical."

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"An expert as well as insightful portrait that impressively demonstrates what was so fascinating about Inge Brandenburg and her singing style - and why she was indeed one of the best jazz voices Germany has ever produced."

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"A painful gap finally closed..., the little that Inge Brandenburg left behind is among the best that European vocal jazz has ever had to offer. Marc Boettcher's brilliantly researched, fascinating film about this outrageously interesting woman and stunning artist sets up a monument to her - broken, to be sure, but one that also reminds us of the faults of her surroundings, which did not allow this artist to show what she was capable of. A great loss for the jazz world. For research, editing, dramaturgy, editing, sound and picture quality, and for its ravishing opening credits, the film, now available on DVD, deserves our award, as does the CD produced in parallel (see below): the Kiss of the Muses."

Book reviews

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"Sometimes a book leaves us hurt, sad or confused. It is then up to the reader, who has been touched in this way, to find out where exactly this book hits us. The biography of Inge Brandenburg left the reviewer sad and at the same time happy: sad about the singer's efforts to escape her loveless and hurtful past and to find the recognition she deserved, happy about rediscovering this wonderful voice and interpretation of long known and also new jazz titles by this wonderful singer. (...) A touching and at the same time enlightening read about a remarkable and at the same time tragic musician, excitingly told not only for music lovers."

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"With this richly illustrated book, the author has succeeded in creating an easy-to-read, exciting and highly interesting mixture of biographical facts, socio-historical aspects of the early Federal Republic and the machinations of the music business. - It is a well-balanced character study of the artist that often leaves the reader vacillating between sympathy and disgust. Boettcher describes the artist's uneven path through life, paved with many stones, very vividly and with clear words. The lovingly and meticulously researched book is more than just a memoir of a great singer who was denied real fame and whose life has many missed opportunities - through no fault of her own, but also through fault. It portrays to readers the difficulties that an uncompromising life away from the mainstream can bring in terms of adversity. Boettcher's commendable work cannot be praised highly enough in this age of arbitrariness in book publishing."

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"The grandiose and defeated life of the singer Inge Brandenburg. Marc Boettcher has brought the fate of the unjustly forgotten out of the darkness. This book takes you on a journey into the life so marked by shocks, dreams and disappointments. Actually, one no longer wonders why the music business in Germany is for the most part so banal, shallow and mendacious."

CD reviews

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"This rediscovery will - as with Boettcher's award-winning 2011 film soundtrack SING! INGE, SING! - will delight fans of the singer as well as connoisseurs of the German jazz scene."

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"If you're interested in the history of German jazz, you can't go past this disc!"

"From us, the album, as ambitious as it is successful, gets the Musenblätter predicate, the Musenkuss. Our record of the month."

"This CD once again underscores that Inge Brandenburg was an excellent jazz singer who is still worth listening to today. How fitting that she closes the CD with "I Love Jazz.""

"The success of the documentary "Sing! Inge, sing!", the CD of the same name and the biography of the same name by Marc Boettcher, brought Inge posthumous awards and placements in the jazz charts. Now, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of her death and 90th birthday, he has released a new CD with 18 wonderful, previously unreleased finds from the years 1959-1971, which impressively prove that she was indeed the first lady of German jazz singing: Who else could place blue notes as wonderfully oblique and touching as she did ("Was weißt Du von Liebe") or produce such a wealth of tonal colors in just a few bars ("Summertime")? Who possessed that outrageously refined time feeling, that expressiveness that sends shivers down our spines ("Round Midnight")..."

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"The 18 songs on this album are a great reminiscence of Inge Brandenburg and an entertaining and impressive compilation of an almost forgotten incredible jazz singer from Germany. The bands and the arrangers are the best that could be found during that time, so this album is also a great retrospective of German big band music. 
Special thanks also go to Marc Boettcher and Patrick Römer, who collected, analyzed, selected and polished the material in such a way that the spirit of that time and the sound ideas of today merge well. 
This album is a perfect combination of vocal jazz and big band music and if you enjoy it, you will not be disappointed. For all non-German speaking readers, it's a great opportunity to discover that it's possible to swing and groove in German."

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"She was the best jazz vocalist Germany produced in the 20th century."

"Among the remarkable new releases of the season is an album of historic, with previously unreleased recordings of the singer Inge Brandenburg from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. After the film, the book and the CD "Sing, Inge, Sing", the album "I Love Jazz" now provides further insights into the multifaceted work of Inge Brandenburg." (Bert Noglik, MDR Kultur)

A long overdue rediscovery! What a voice, what a feeling for jazz, what beautiful songs. What a woman! I Love Jazz is a truly beautiful compilation!"   

"The album of the week! - A nice opportunity to rediscover this completely unjustly forgotten artist and personality!"

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"Whether she still had faith in love is not known, nor whether she believed in the widespread success of her jazz singing, but faith in jazz as an art form capable of expressing life in all its facets, Inge Brandenburg certainly had. For this is unmistakably documented here."

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"The rediscovered 18 songs are valuable. They show purely the range of Inge Brandenburg. But they also reveal the tension under which her creative work stood. Here the German Schlager, there the further development of jazz. All the more valuable are these songs in which she coos, croons, shifts at a dizzying pace through highs and lows both vocally and emotionally. The last two songs are the two poles between which she has lived. She writes the lyric "The Ferris Wheel," in which she melancholically describes how she rolls up and down between the heights of success and human disappointments. She jubilantly sings about her elixir of life in "I love Jazz." Anyone who hears this song at the end will believe her immediately.

With "I love Jazz," those who were already impressed by the documentary about her and her biography "Sing! Inge, Sing!", once again experience the essence of her art. Here, only she speaks, or rather sings. A great present for her 90th birthday. The lovingly designed CD cover and the detailed booklet are designed in the aesthetics of her peak of success in the 60s. Let's just hope it doesn't discourage younger jazz lovers from buying it, because her songs are not only documents of the times, but timelessly good."

"An album of standards. They make some of my colleagues look old today."

"If music touches the soul, it's with these tracks between A Taste Of Honey and I Love Jazz."