Author: Karsten Hein
Category: Audiophile Music
When Jörg Hegemann returned to Hansahaus Studios Bonn in February 2022, the intention communicated to producer and studio owner Klaus Genuit was simply to record the sequel to the “Foot Tappin’ Boogie” album, and to take this recording to an even higher acoustic level this time around. You see, Jörg‘s 2021 album had struck all the right chords and had been praised by some reviewers as the world’s first audiophile Boogie Woogie album. Therefore, for his new “High End Boogie Woogie” album, the big question was whether both the musicians and the studio could top Jörg’s previous success. — No pressure, of course.
Klaus Genuit’s studio had long since made a name for itself in producing excellent recordings, but in order to succeed one more time, Jörg and his fellow musicians needed to identify what had made their previous recording work so well. One such element was surely the chemistry between the musicians themselves. Watching them reunited again, there was a strong sense of purposeful harmony, with everyone knowing their roles and readily making their special contributions to the recording. The famous double bass man Paul G. Ulrich, the seasoned Boogie shouter Thomas Aufermann, and the legendary Boogie Woogie pianist Jörg Hegemann, all managed to keep up a very high momentum and feed song after song into Klaus Genuit’s mixing console.
Another element was the high quality of studio equipment. Klaus Genuit himself was not unaware of the fact that large recording studios such as Hansahaus were almost impossible to set up with the budgets available for today’s productions. He himself had been fortunate enough to make his investments when music labels’ recording budgets were still in the five to seven digits for a single album. Contemporary studios tend to be smaller and more depend on computer software rather than analog or hardware solutions. Klaus Genuit himself was at the prime of his profession and had managed to set his equipment up as to achieve a hard to duplicate sound balance from top to bottom. This had arguably been Foot Tappin’ Boogie’s biggest asset: The combination of great tonal balance and the believable amount of musical detail.
In the making of “High End Boogie Woogie” it was decided to record at a higher sampling rate in order to be more flexible later, for instance when changing from compact disc to vinyl or online streaming media. To some extent, perhaps also to merit the description "High End". Initially, there was some discussion about the recording format, because, if unused, the additional effort of recording at a higher sampling rate would hardly be worth it. We promised to make full use of the available format and finally started the recording session at 96kHz.
The final element was perhaps the piano itself. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to play even a single note on a Steinway and Sons grand piano will be familiar with the dignity and caress with which this particular instrument treats every single note. And Jörg hardly ever played a single note. He had the special gift to set this piano on fire like few others. Jörg and the Steinway combined to create a Boogie Woogie fireworks that would have been impossible to capture if it were not for the special gift of Klaus Genuit and his studio. Looking at the piano, Jörg once said: “When this session is over, we’ll both need a rest and a bit of servicing.”
High End Boogie Woogie is the most worthy successor to Jörg’s previous album. At the time of writing this, there is nothing to rival it in the world of Boogie Woogie. The album takes the combo’s playing style to the next level of perfection and the listener on a journey through the world of Boogie Woogie as it was meant to be performed and listened to. So crank up your High End stereo system and prepare to bathe in the sound. For the love of music and the unbridled expression of happiness that is the Boogie Woogie. — Enjoy!