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: Michel Pilz

Pilz live4

Probably one of the most recognizable jazz musicians in Europe today, tall and lanky, Michel Pilz and his long bass-clarinet are a popular club and concert feature. Considered early on as a successor to the great Eric Dolphy, Michel Pilz has dedicated his career exclusively to the mastery of this extraordinary woodwind. 

He was born in Germany and grew up in Luxembourg, where he studied classical clarinet at the conservatory.  Then he opted for a career in jazz playing the larger instrument, first joining the Manfred Schoof Quintet in 1968 (with Alex von Schlippenbach, Buschi Niebergall and Mani Neumeier).

Since the 70's, Michel toured in the Near East Asia and South America with the German All Stars Quintet, the Globe Unity Orchestra and in Japan with trumpeter Itaru Oki.  Then, playing with other bands he toured with Manfred Schoof Quintet, Pilz Oki Quartet, Kunkel-Pilz Duo, David Laborier Trio, Jean Noel Cognard, Benoit Martiny Band, Pilz-Ruby-Daniel B-Flat Weber Trio.

Today and since 1989, Michel resides in Luxembourg where he plays local engagements.  He also travels frequently for appearances in Europe.  He has consistantly attempted to include local musicians in his international appearances believing the promotion of such relationships to be a critical element in the musician’s art.


: Michel Pilz & Georg Ruby

Since 2007, Michel Pilz and Georg Ruby, pianist from Cologne, are working on “Instant Composings”. The concept of this project means spontaneously evolving “live compositions” being the main principle of the musical interaction between the two musicians: on the one hand, purely enjoying intense, sometimes simply sound generating improvisation, on the other hand in whatever groove, whether free tonal or harmonically bound. Michel Pilz and Georg Ruby’s concept is convincing through its extraordinarily communicative richness of colours and their enormous musical sense of humour.
"Deuxième Bureau", first cd production of Ruby-Pilz, has been released in 2011 by JazzHausMusik (Ruby’s label) and was chosen from New York City Jazz Record Album of the Year 2011.


: Michel Pilz, Georg Ruby, Daniel “D-Flat” Weber & Elodie Brochier

Following the successful CD release "Deuxième Bureau", Michel Pilz and Georg Ruby extended the duo by Daniel “D-Flat” Weber, drummer from Bern, Switzerland.
For some of the concerts the band also features as guest star from Sarreguemines, French singer Elodie Brochier. Her extraordinary artistic skills as improvising singer, actress and recitress enrich the band's sound by lifting the project's musical communication to the next level. The quartet recorded its music in 2015 under the title "Rimbaud #4" (JazzHausMusik, Cologne) which refers to four poems of the great French writer, read by Elodie Brochier.
The band improvises in different settings while she performs the poems concentrating musical and literary energy. In addition to that, the trio integrates Elodie Brochier in some recordings as improvising vocalist without lyrics into the completely free improvised music.


Has played:

Montreux Jazz Festival (CH), Chateau-Vallon (FR), European Jazz Festival in Damascus (SYR), Athen Jazz Festival (GRC), Institut Français Berlin, Köln Statgarten, Frankfurt, Saarbrücken, Bremen (DE), Bombay (IN), Tokyo (JP)...



"Pilz is a most resourceful bass-clarinetist whose main virtue is an almost Chicago-like devotion to solo shape." John Litweiler in "Downbeat"

"Michel Pilz, whose sole instrument is the bass-clarinet, has carried the Eric Dolphy legacy into the Free Jazz Era... He is a master of contradictory musical lines, flowing from the strong and furious, to the soft and warm."  J. E. Behrendt in his "Jazzbuch"

"I have enjoyed Michel Pilz's music for a long time... A music I like, and whose claim is clear.  In short:  music at the top of our time." Bert Noglik, jazz critic

Title: Rimbaud #4 - Michel Pilz, Georg Ruby, Daniel "D-Flat" Weber, Elodier Brochier

Year: 2015

Label: JazzHausMusik

Title: L'Etau - Keith Tippett, Michel Pilz, Paul Rogers, Jean-Noël Cognard

Year: 2013

Label: Bloc Thyristors

Title: Tilly's Eyes - Michel Pilz & Bob Degen Quartett

Year: 2011

Label: JazzHausMusik

Title: Deuxième Bureau - Michel Pilz & Georg Ruby

Year: 2011

Label: JazzHausMusik

Title: Ressuage - J-N. Cognard, M. Pilz, O. Oki, B. Duboc, P. Müller, S. Riva

Year: 2010

Label: Bloc Thyristors

Title: Arbor - Michel Pilz Trio

Year: 2003

Label: Shaa Music

Title: Melusina - Michel Pilz Quartet

Year: 1991

Label: Drops CD

Title: Jamabiko - Michel Pilz Quartet

Year: 1984

Label: MP Productions

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