BERLIN HAT DEN JAZZ
Weintraubs Syncopators was founded in 1924. The seven members of the band played 42 instruments each time they performed. At that time, all entertainment musicians were multi-instrumentalists. They also changed their clothes constantly. And they offered acrobatics and fun. Clownesque behavior was simply part of their art. But coming to the music they were serious.
The music of the Weintraubs Syncopators
In some pieces, jazz made just one color of their musically diverse sound – tipical Berlin Melange. That is why in the late 1920s and early 1930s the Weintraubs very successfully represented German jazz, at home and abroad.
Others, however, made obvious the orientation towards the sound of New Orleans Jazz. That way they took the Berlin Melange closer to genuine jazz!
From 1927 onwards, Friedrich Hollaender joined the band. Now he contributed many compositions and played the piano. So they appeared in all revue theaters. In I928 the Theater des Westens was the place the Weintraubs Syncopators to meet Josephine Baker. Together they performed the revue play „Bitte einsteigen“ by Rudolf Nelson.
And in 1929 and 1930 they were also accompanying Marlene Dietrich in the movie ´Der blaue Engel`. (cf. Bratfisch, Rainer, Jazz in Berlin, p. 47)
From 1933 all of them should have emigrated due to their Jewish origin. The opportunities presented themselves on their tours. Most of the members ended up in Melbourne, Australia. Hollaender fled to Hollywood. There he became a film composer for Charlie Chaplin and Billy Wilder. He knew the latter as Abraham Wilder from Berlin. The first band pianist, Martin Roman, stayed in Berlin. In 1943 he was imprisoned in a concentration camp. He got away with life thanks to his musical skills. This is how all Weintraubs made it. The days of the Berlin Melange however irretrievably were over.
Also see: KIND OF GOLDEN – The New West