MAX GREGER (1926-2015)

Max Greger (Munich, April 2, 1926 – Munich, August 15, 2015) was a German big band leader, jazz musician, saxophonist and conductor. Originally, Greger was planning to take over the parental business.

However, in 1936 his grandfather donated him an accordion, laying the foundation for the musical development of Greger, who was 10 years old at the time. In the following years Greger developed further in music and studied clarinet and saxophone at the Munich Conservatory. At the age of 18 he was drafted into the army towards the end of the Second World War, in 1944-’45.

Immediately after the end of the war he played as one of the first Germans in American officers’ casinos and thus became a pioneer in the post-war German swing and big band world. In 1948 he founded his first ensemble under the name Max-Greger-Sextett. In the following years he mainly played music for the Bayerischer Rundfunk and in American clubs, where his first meetings with Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, among others, took place.

This was followed by his first LP recordings and tours of Germany and the rest of Europe. As the first western band in 35 years, Greger was allowed to tour the then Soviet Union in 1959. From 1963 to 1977 he worked as a permanent member of the German broadcaster ZDF. As a result, he was a regular guest on programmes such as Vergißmeinnicht, Musik ist Trumpf and Der große Preis. In 1970 he was the only German orchestra to perform at the world exhibition in Osaka, Japan. In addition, he was a regular guest with his orchestra at dance competitions and recorded many records especially focused on ballroom dancing.

In 1986 Greger celebrated his sixtieth birthday at the ZDF with a “Super-Band”, in which famous colleagues such as Hazy Osterwald, Paul Kuhn, Hugo Strasser and James Last performed. Since 1992 he has worked as a guest conductor at public performances and studio productions of the SWR Big Band. For several years, he toured Germany with his colleagues Hugo Strasser and Paul Kuhn under the name Swing-Legenden.

Together with the SWR Big Band they played songs by jazz greats like Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington. From April 2, 2006 Greger celebrated his eightieth birthday with a birthday tour that started on his birthday at the Philharmonic Munich in his hometown. Max Greger continued to perform regularly until July 2015. That month he was diagnosed with cancer. A month later he died from the consequences of the disease.

Songs of Max Greger you can hear at Instrumentals Forever:

A Hard Days Night
A Man And A Woman
Abendmelodie (Brahms)
Abends in Moskau
Aber Dich gibt’s nur einmal für mich
Aber die Liebe bleibt
Adios Amor
Alexander’s Ragtime Band
Almenrausch und Edelweiss
Alo Ahe
Am Rio Negro
Amore mio
Arrivederci Claire
At The Woodchopper’s Ball – Jumping At The Woodside
Auf der Heide blüh’n die letzten Rosen
Aufforderung zum Tanz (von Weber)
B R Boogie
Ballettmusik ”Fürst Igor” (Borodin)
Banks Of The Ohio
Barcarole (Offenbach)
Basin Street Blues
Bei dir war es immer so schön
Bei mir bist du schön
Bei mir bist du schön – Sheik Of Araby – Tiger Rag
Bella Vita
Big Train
Blue Berry Hill
Blue Hawaii
Blue Narzissus (Nevin)
Blue Tango – La Violetta
Born To Be Alive – Does Your Mother Know
B-R Boogie
Bye Bye Blues
C Jam Blues – Skyliner
California Blue
Can’t Help Falling In Love
Carmen (Bizet)
Chicago – St Louis Blues
Chiquitita – Blue Bayou
Cielito Lindo – The Girl From Ipanema
C-Jam Blues
Creole Love Call
Da geh’ ich zu Maxim – Niemand liebt dich so wie ich – Gern hab’ ich die Frau’n geküsst
Das hab’ ich in Paris gelernt
Das Pfennig-Lied
Das war in Schöneberg
Der Junge mit der Mundharmonika
Die ganze Welt ist himmelblau
Die Sonne und du
Dirty Mambo
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Dschingis Khan – Moskau
Du du du
Du hast so wunderschöne blaue Augen
Du und du
Durch dich wird diese Welt erst schön
Eager Beaver – Begin The Beguine
Eight Days A Week
Ein Glück dass man sich so verlieben kann
Ein Herz für Kinder – Sag nicht es war einmal
Eine kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart)
Eine Reise ins Glück
El Choclo – Olé Guapa
El Lute – Lago Maggiore
El Negro Zumbon
Emotions Of Love
Endless Love – Up Where We Belong
Erst wenn’s aus wird sein
Es ist nur die Liebe
Es leuchten die Sterne
Etüde Nr3 E-Dur (Chopin)
Everybody Salsa – Don’t Stop That Crazy Rhythm – High Life
Fast Steps
Flashdance – Footloose
Flyin’ Home
Follow Me
Footloose – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
Four Brothers
Gern hab’ ich die Frau’n geküsst
Gloryland – Dark Eyes – Down By The Riverside – When The Saints Go Marchin’ In
Golden Bavaria
Golden Ireland
Gonna Fly Now
Good Morning Starshine
Grüsse aus der Ferne
Hallelujah – So bist Du
Hallo kleines Fräulein
Harlem Nocturne
Heal The World
Hello Again – Ci Sara
Hello Dolly – Mack The Knife – Mame
Herz-Schmerz-Polka – Rosamunde
Hey Mambo
Hi Hi Hi
High Noon
Hot Seats
How Do You Do
Humoreske (Dvorák)
I Cant Stop Loving You
I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do
I Feel Fine
I Got Rhythm
I Got Rhytnm – I Get A Kick Out Of You
I Just Called To Say I Love You
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You
I Left My Heart In San Francisco
I´m Gettin’ Sentimental Over You – Moonlight Serenade – Perfidia
Ich hab so Heimweh nach dem Kurfürstendamm
I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing
Im Chambre Séparée
I’m Getting Sentimental Over You
In A Sentimental Mood
In The Mood
In The Navy – YMCA
Intermission Riff
It’s Raining Again
Jenseits von Eden – Abschied ist ein scharfes Schwert
Jesus Christ Superstar
Jet Propulsion
Jumpin’ At The Woodside
Just In Time
Kaiser Walzer
Kauf’ dir einen bunten Luftballon
Keine Sterne in Athen
King Porter Stomp
La Bamba
La Golondrina
La Golondrina – Guantanamera
La Paloma
La Provence
La Violetta (Verdi)
Lady Of Ice
Lagunenwalzer (Strauss)
Lasst uns tanzen (Weber)
Last Date
Last Rumba
Lay Love On You
Let’s Dance – Don’t Be That Way
Liebestraum (Liszt)
Lil’ Darlin’
Little Willy
Love Is Blue
Love Is Everything
Love Me Tender
Love Story – Schiwago-Melodie
Love Waltz – The Last Waltz
Ma Baker
Mack The Knife
Major Tom (völlig losgelöst)
Mama Leone
Mama Leone – Bright Eyes
Mambo No. 5
Maria Elena
Meditation aus Thais (Massenet)
Meine Liebe deine Liebe – Ach ich hab’ sie ja nur
Meine Welt ist die Musik
Melodie in F (Rubinstein)
Memphis Tennessee
Mexican Flavour
Miss You So
Monday Monday
Mood Indigo – Creole Love Call
Moon River
Moon River – Tammy
More – Love Letters
Moskauer Nächte – I Love Paris
Moten Swing
Mr Anthonys Boogie
Mr Sandman
Muskrat Ramble – Royal Garden Blues – South Rampart Street Parade – Darktown Strutters’ Ball
Muy Macho
My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean – Rock Around The Clock
Nachts ging das Telefon
Never Can Say Goodbye
New York New York – All Of Me
Nice And Sweet
Night Fever – Stayin’ Alive
Night Train
No Doubt About It
Nocturne (Chopin)
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
On The Sunny Side Of The Street – I´m Beginning To See The Light – April In Paris
One O’Clock Jump
One Way Ticket – Sunday Girl
Only You
Opus No 1 – I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Opus One
Patricia – In A Little Spanish Town
Petite fleur
Pianoconcerto (Tschaikowsky)
Pizzicati (Delibes)
Playa Blanca
Poéme (Fibich)
Pour un flirt
Prelude (Rachmaninoff)
Proud Mary
Que Sera Sera – Chim Chim Cheree
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Red River Valley Shuffle
Reet Petite
Ring My Bell – Bad Girls
Rio Chico
Risco Del Gato
Rivers Of Babylon
Sail Along Silvery Moon
Samba Rico
San Miguel
Sassa – Die Juliska aus Budapest
Save Me – Hot Stuff
Save Your Love
Schau mich bitte nicht so an – Blueberry Hill
Schenkt man sich Rosen in Tirol
Schwarze Augen
See You Later Alligator – Shake Rattle And Roll
Self Control – High On Emotion
Sempre Sempre
Sentimental Journey – Memories Of You – You Made Me Love You
Sie will nicht Blumen und nicht Schokolade
Sing Sing Sing
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
So bist Du
Some Girls – Hooray! Hooray! It’s A Holi-Holiday
Some Of These Days – Baby Won’t You Please Come Home – Blue Berry Hill
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Song Of India
Song Sung Blue
Sonntag ist’s
Soul Breeze
Soul House
Spinning Wheel
Star Dust
Stranger On The Shore
Sugar Blues
Super Girl
Sweet Candy
Symphonie Nr40 (Mozart)
Take The ”A” Train – In The Mood
Tango Guitar
Tanz der Stunden (Ponchielli)
Tanze Samba mit mir – España Olé
Tea For Two – Honeysuckle Rose – All Of Me – It’s A Long Way To Tipperary
Tennessie Girl
The Continental – I’ve Got You Under My Skin
The House Of The Rising Sun – Love Is In The Air
Tie A Yellow Ribbon
Time After Time – Send Me An Angel
Tin Roof Blues – Rock-A-Bye Your Baby – St Louis Blues
To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before
To Know Him Is To Love Him
Träumerei (Schümann)
Tritsch-Tratsch Polka
True Love – Plaisir d’amour
Trumpet Blues
Trumpet Blues – Caravan
Tu soltanto tu
Ungarischer Tanz Nr5 (Brahms)
Unter einem Regenschirm am Abend
Up To Date
Vogel der nacht – Das Lied von Manuel
Voulez-vous couchez avec moi
Warum müssen Jahre vergehen
Weisser Holunder
Wenn der weisse Flieder wieder blüht
Wenn die Glocken hell erklingen
Wenn ein Schiff vorüberfährt
Wenn ein Stern vom Himmel fällt
Whiter Shade Of Pale
Wien du Stadt meiner Träume
Wiener Blut (Strauss)
Will You Still Be Mine
Wind Of Change
Without You
Wo die Alpenrosen blüh’n
Wonderful Copenhagen – Tulpen aus Amsterdam
Woodchoppers Ball
Wooly Bully
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Oh Happy Day
You Want Love
You’re The One That I Want
Zig Zag Mambo