From the magazin "bate" Dublin/Irland 79


Kraan What i would call the leading exponents of Teutoni jazz-rock, have had some airplay on local radio through the unpaid efforts of me pushing my private copy of ,Flyday' onto all available turntables.
The response has never been less than positive, because the four- piece from the NorthWest really represent great class.
From the adventurous weirdos that started out with their first album 'Kraan' in 1972, only Helllmut Hattler (bass,voc.) and Peter Wolbrandt (guit.,voc.,perc.) remained constant members through the years Ingo Bischof (keyboards) joined three years ago from Kraan's best friends , Guru Guru' and Udo Dahmen only recently replaced former drummer Jan Fride.
On earlier albums, nos. to 5 to be exact, one Alto Pappert dominated the Kraan sound through his saxophones, his position has been filled by a more than capable keyboardist nowadays. And yet the real stars of Kraan are axeman Wolbrandt, whose picking is more than a little on the rocky side and Hellmut Hattler, Germanys best known bassist and a cult figur. Hellmut's solo album 'Bassball' has established him even more as a frontman on todays jazz-rock sceene.
The Kraan albums list as follows: Kraan (72),Wintrup (73), Andy Nogger (74), Live (75, double), Let it out (75), Wiederhören (77), Flyday (78) and Tournee (78-Live). They have yet to make one weak record, but if I had to recommend a few, I'd go for Andy Nogger and the first Live album from the early days and Flyday plus Tournee from the recent band. As soon as i get my hands on Tournee, I will play tracks of it on the radio, just to let you know, what you are missing.
I was informed, that a small independent label in England would release an album soon, that would contain instrumentals from the last few LPs. This should have been in October already, and since that month is over now, it remains to be seen, what truth is behind the information. Whatever the outcome, the original albums should be far more interesting, they portray the band more naturally, and since there aren't many lyrics on their albums anyway, I see little sense in an instrumental compilation.
The real thing of course, would be to see Kraan live. There could hardly be a better prove, that jazz-rock can be very entertaining and lively. The boys could even be regarded as a dance band, if one is prepared to adjust dance steps a little. Any band, that has a pumping bass standing out must be good on the rhythm side. As with most German bands, Kraan's home territory is the Federal Republik and the bordering countries of Belgium, France, Switzerland and Austria in particular.