I am very sad to report that Miloslav Ladislav „Ladi“ Geisler, born in Prague on November 27th, 1927, collapsed at a club date in Hamburg last Tuesday. He now is in critical condition at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.
He was a close friend of and played with Bert Kaempfert until his early death at age 57 in 1980. Ladi was the major influence on the Bert Kaempfert sound with a modified electric bass, Bert Kaempfert: „The bass must crack“ – and it surely did. A video clip you find here Bert Kaempfert & Ladi Geisler Guitar - YouTube
A post under that link I believe says it all:
Ladi Geisler was the co explorer and developer of the Bert Kaempfert sound. The strong accords from the bass guitar are originally from Ladi Geisler. Even all modern bass players have the influence of Ladi.
To this day Ladi is in high demand. Last year he was invited to record with Helen Schneider because she wanted that „Knackbass“ sound and nothing else. I have the privilege to know him and play with his Trio from time to time. A flavor can be found at Ladi Geisler Trio : L.O.V.E. - YouTube
which to my taste is the very best arrangement of Bert Kaempfert’s L.O.V.E. (many recordings out there, including Nat King Cole). Ladi Geisler „simulates“ the sound of the „Knackbass“ on a GIBSON L-4 guitar and a custom made amp. (I look distressed, I know a lot of Jazz Standards, thisone I didn't...)
Also very nice, Autumn Leaves: It is a joy to see Ladi here, he is so deep into his playing. No wonder... Autumn Leaves ist the favorite tune of his wife. Also notable, a beautiful piano solo by Uwe Johst age 75, who is a conductor and multi-instumentalist for p/accordeon/ss/ts/cl, has been concert master of the Hamburg-Port-Concerts for decades and many other things. Last but not least, Joe Sydow, now 85 years old, who plays a huge double bass. Joe has been with the Kurt Edelhagen BigBand, one of the leading German dance orchestras during the 50’s and 60’s, and various Radio Orchestras; I like the way he is trying to keep up with Ladi during the intro. Great player and wondeful personality which accounts for all three. Ladi Geisler Trio : Autumn Leaves - YouTube
It is hard for me to watch that right now, but I am sure you will enjoy.