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Schmilz (2002)

Peter A. Schmid (Eb, bass & contrabassclarinet)
Michel Pilz (bassclarinet)
Herbert Kramis (contrabass)
Dominik Burger (drums)
Creative Works Records CW 1041)


Schmilz (liner notes)

It was 1968 when bass clarinettist Michel Pilz first played before a wider audience with the Manfred Schoof Quintet.  At the time, Michel Pilz had just completed his classical clarinet studies at the Luxembourg Conservatory and was subsequently also studying with Nathan Davis in Paris. At this point, he'd long ago made his decision to devote himself exclusively to bass clarinet. Crucial to this decision was above all Eric Dolphy's sessions with the John Coltrane Quintet. In the late summer of 1964, Michel Pilz was on his way to his first Eric Dolphy concert in Paris. Tragically, once at the concert hall, he found only the notice of the great musician's death, which had occurred in Berlin a few days before...

Tours and recording sessions with the German All Stars, the Globe Unity Orchestra and his own small groups followed. At the end of the 1970s, the newly formed New Manfred Schoof Quartet (with Jasper van't Hof,  Rainer Brueninghaus, Guenter Lenz and Ralf Huebner) recorded three wonderful albums for JAPO/ECM, which are scarcely available today. These recordings made a deep impression on me - at the time I had just acquired an old bass clarinet - because I'd never heard a bass clarinettist with such a free, expressive and yet at the same time, melodious, way of playing.

In 1999, when the Viennese jazz magazine Jazzlive was planning a special edition on bass clarinet players, it gave me the opportunity to make contact with Michel Pilz (and subsequently to write the article about him). And in the end, it has led to a lengthy musical collaboration. Schmilz puts the bass clarinet squarely in the spotlight - supported by old acquaintences, with whom I've already been playing in various other groups for many years: Herbert Kramis (MorsCHachBlaSorChester) and Dominik Burger: SPOG (Spogology CWR 1031) and Duo Buschland ( Duets, Dialogues & Duels CWR 1034).
Peter A.Schmid

Pressestimmen zur CD Schmilz (Creative Works Records CW 1041)

«Diese Musik für zwei Bassklarinetten vermittelt unerhört nteressante Klangschichtungen und improvisatorische Duo- und Solohöhenflüge - und das auf dem Fundament eines intensiv agierenden Rhythmus-Duos»  
(Johannes Anders, Jazz'n'more 4/2002)

«In einer mitreissenden Gratwanderung verSCHMILZt das Quartet souverän Jazzdialektik mit freigeistiger Improvisation. Musik die neugierig macht»
(Jazzlive Wien 135/2002)