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LADI GEISLER - inventor/creator of the „Knackbass“. Prayers & best wishes pleas

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by JazzDrummer, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. 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.

    Thank you!
  2. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    My best wishes go out to him.

    He was a true pioneer and his sound was unique and groundbreaking. Still sounds amazing, and whether you are a fan or not of the style of music it is fascinating to listen to the quality of these guys' playing, him notably.
  3. Ladi Geisler passed away on November 19th, a few days shy of his 84th birthday. An outstading musician and pioneer of modern bass playng left the planet, and one of the nicest guys I ever met. Thanks for ...viewing.
  4. dperry


    Sep 24, 2010
    New York
    Does anybody know what kind on bass Ladi Geisler played?
    I heard it was a Fender Telecaster Bass. But they didn't make a Telecaster bass until 1968 and Ladi had done most of his famous Bert Kaempfert work by then. The Telecaster was really a replica of the 1953 Precision so maybe he played an old Precision. Would love to know.
  5. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I thought he played an early stack-knob J? This is from memory, don't quote me.

    Sorry to hear he died, may he RIP.
  6. Hi Folks, Ladi Geisler played a Fender JazzBass which underwent some conversion by him; bought from Hans Last (better know as Dance Orchestra Leader James Last) in the early 1960's.
    To quote Laurie Mercer:
    In the early '60s he bought a Fender electric bass guitar from James Last, who didn't like the sound of the instrument; while recording with Kaempfert he developed what became one of the strongest beats in pop music, which came to define the Kaempfert style and separate those recordings from all the soundalike product in the marketplace. "Knackbass" is a treble staccato created when the string is plucked by a pick and immediately suppressed, canceling the sustain; the impact of the sound propelled such compositions as "Danke Schoen" and "That Happy Feeling" to world-wide hit status and cemented Geisler's industry reputation as an invaluable contributor.

    Full story here and worthwhile reading:

    His last guitar was a "Joe Pass Model" Gibson from the early 1980's and he really loved it. In his peak times Ladi owned over 50 string instruments.

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