German musician Claus Ogerman has enjoyed a long and successful career as an arranger, composer, conductor and pianist. Throughout his career he has explored a wide spectrum of musical genres and styles from pop and Broadway to rock and r&b. Somewhere in this rainbow of styles he was also able engage himself with bossa nova.
In 1959 he moved from his native, Germany to New York and a few years later joined Creed Taylor on the verve record label. This proved to be a watershed moment in his career. From that point on he was able to work with a wide array of musicians. Notably, he worked with Astrud and Joao Gilberto and Joao Donato.
For more than 2 decades he worked as an arranger and conductor for Antonio Carlos Jobim and played a role in albums such as , “The Composer of Desafinado Plays,” “A Certain Mr. Jobim Jobim,” “Urubu” and “Terra Brasilis.”
- 1967 would prove to be a remarkable year for Ogerman as he was behind two seminal albums that were both released less than 3 months apart: Antonio Carlos Jobim’s magnum opus, “Wave,” and the celebrated,” Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim,” which was nominated for a Grammy for album of the year.
His masterful application of strings characterized a number of his greatest works. His work has received praise from musicians and casual listeners a like and in 1979 he received a Grammy for his work as an arranger, his sole Grammy from the several nominations he has received throughout his career.
After years away from commercial music he was contacted by Diana Krall to arrange and conduct for her boss nova album, “Quiet Nights.” His magic touch seemed to work yet again as the album went gold and platinum in several countries, reached number one on the US Jazz charts and placed 3rd on the US billboard top 200, a great feat for a jazz/boss nova album. The album was one of the best selling albums in the jazz category for it’s decade despite being released in the last year of that decade.