Ted the Bellhop by Stefan Schultze Large Ensemble

2017 WhyPlayJazz (RS033), CD + MP3 Album Download

Stefan Schultze Large Ensemble »Ted the Bellhop«

Track listing

  1. Ted the Bellhop  5:46
  2. The Morning After  8:23
  3. Skala 55  4:28
  4. Arkona  8:26
  5. Fleur Carnivore  8:01
  6. Blues Lee  6:22


Woodwinds: Heiner Wiberny, Charlotte Greve, Stefan Karl Schmid, Peter Ehwald, Heiko Bidmon Trumpets: Benny Brown, Felix Meyer, Florian Menzel, Volker Deglmann, John-Dennis Renken Trombones: Simon Harrer, Janning Trumann, Tim Hepburn, Jan Schreiner Rhythm: Martin Schulte, Jürgen Friedrich, Matthias Akeo Nowak, Daniel Schröteler Special Guest on “Skala 55”: Wu Wei (Sheng) Composition (expect “Fleur Carnivore” by Carla Bley) and arrangement: Stefan Schultze

Production credits

Recorded 16th - 20th September 2014 at Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal (Cologne, Germany) by Oliver Bergner, Ernst Hartmann and Katrin Fidorra. Produced for Deutschlandfunk by Harald Rehmann. Mixed and mastered by Christian Heck at tonart-studio (Kerpen-Horrem, Germany). Photo(s) by Dovile Sermokas. Design and artwork by Travassos.

A number of souls in one chest and off we go to a courageous and emotional roller coaster ride, rougher this time and, as a matter of principle, less clean. Stefan Schultze’s Large Ensemble opens new doors in the top class of Jazz.

Unexpected things are happening behind closed doors. But more and more of these doors are opened. This is where the title of this new entertainment program comes from. Ted is the page boy in the episodic movie “Four Rooms” from 1995. During one of his night shifts, the four directors send Ted to various hotel rooms where unbelievable things are happening.

Ted is the central theme in the elaborate, again and again stunning compositions of the new album by Stefan Schultze. A man in his mid-thirties, he has been socialized with various forms of music: jazz, rock, pop, new music, classical music, ethnic sounds, minimal, noise etc. He is part of the “click culture” generation, but it is exactly against this generation that he competes. His elaborate, again and again stunning compositions draw from a great pool, but they require a detailed examination that YouTube cannot offer.

With all its voltes and twists Stefan Schultze‘s music remains extremely alive, agile, full of catchiness and piercing force. And all of this without losing itself in simplicity. The power and contagious vitality of these big screen sounds result from this accurately built agility. This is by all means music from today that has not forgotten about its roots.

And it is exactly the way Ted navigates through this mess, arising from it as a rewarded winner in the end, that shows parallels to these big band adventures. A number of souls in one chest and off we go to a courageous and emotional roller coaster ride, rougher this time and, as a matter of principle, less clean, almost like a live session. Afterwards it does not matter anyway how much of this pressure wave was planned and how much improvised. Important are the emotions and how deeper dimensions are written into what is happening.


This is whip smart jazz rolled out as boozy fun. Stefan Schultze‘s 18-piece ensemble is about as unconventional as a big band gets, and yet their personable enthusiasm and magnetic charm and a willingness to dive into a blues at will create an environment that makes this music completely embraceable.

Den Hotelpagen Ted, die verbindende Figur im Film, hat Stefan Schultze nun zum Rollenmodell für sein neues Album gemacht. Denn auch in seiner Musik öffnen sich immer wieder Türen zu neuen Überraschungen zwischen Jazz, Neuer Musik, Blues und Noise. [...] Die enorme Vielschichtigkeit seiner Partituren und die Virtuosität im Umgang mit dem Klangkörper Bigband machen „Ted The Bellhop“ zu einer kleinen Sensation.

Hans-Jürgen Schaal, Jazz thing 9-10/2017 (#120)

Mit seinem 18-köpfigen Large Ensemble hat sich Pianist Stefan Schultze (Jg. 1979) in die Schwergewichtsklasse begeben. Die Wucht des Klangkörpers wird freilich klug dosiert und mit ausführlichen Solo-Statements kontrastiert.

Klaus Nüchtern, Falter 27/17

Er entführt uns in Klangräume voll mit kleinen und großen Überraschungen, abrupten Wendungen und anarchischem Witz. [...] Feiner, zeitgemäßer, aber nicht modischer Big-Band-Jazz aus Norddeutschland.

Martin Schuster, Concerto 04/17

Both the music and the performances are inspired and highly aesthetic, which makes this album an absolute delight for all Big Band enthusiasts and in fact all Jazz connoisseurs. A must!

Il nous fait imaginer une rencontre agitée, endiablée, entre Charles Mingus et Carla Bley sur les rives du Rhin. [...] Il y a là-dedans d’impétueux solistes, des coups d’audace et beaucoup de finesse.

Also available

Erratic Wish Machine (feat. Wu Wei)
Stefan Schultze Large Ensemble
(2015, CD)