Dieter Ilg / Heinz Sauer – Bob Degen

Past Dates

Dieter Ilg

“I am not sure if I would have become a jazz musician if the double bass did not exist” – can one think of a more heartfelt confession of love to a musical instrument?

Since many years, Freiburg born bassist Dieter Ilg has the reputation of being one of the most reliable sidemen in the European jazz scene, making his unmistakable musical style a valuable contribution to the projects he works on. Whether it is as a sideman or as band leader: Ilg always combines the quality of the bass as a musical foundation with a graceful ease and expression that is rarely heard on a technically difficult instrument such as the double bass.

But his true virtues become apparent when he enters the stage as a soloist; omitting loop machines, pedals, electronic effects and often even his bow, he enchants his audience with pure virtuosity paired with the experience of three decades. His programme ranges from original compositions to German or Korean folk songs to jazz standards or a Rigoletto aria.

“Ilg shines as a passionate storyteller with a gift of articulate thought.”

“Dieter Ilg is one of the best double bass players in the world, a statement easily confirmed by the fact that he has been asked to play with numerous American Jazz Greats. This – for a German – is about as likely as it is to become the King of England. Bass-king Ilg spreads layers of chords, sometimes playing the bass like a guitar to get percussive and other wondrous sound effects out of his instrument - so much so that sometimes you might think you are listening to a didgeridoo. Of course he also seduces his listeners with the most beautiful, singing-like bass sounds that can be heard in the Jazz world at the moment.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung 11/05

Heinz Sauer – Bob Degen

Saxophone player Heinz Sauer and pianist Bob Degen rank among Europe’s jazz upper nobility. Being born in the US, Degen immigrated to Europe in 1965, helping an increasing number of his American colleagues getting wider recognition overseas. On the first album in his own right he was accompanied by a young bass player by the name of Manfred Eicher, and his recordings with the late Albert Mangelsdorff are legendary.

Since 1973, Degen is a member of the jazz ensemble of Frankfurt/Main radio station “hr” where he first met Heinz Sauer. Six years later they decided to form a permanent duo. After more than thirty years they still sound spontaneous, inspired and inspiring; serve up gourmet jazz for epicures who – in the era of the quick mouse click – still prefer an atmosphere of timeless beauty.

“It’s one of the great mysteries of jazz how saxophonist Heinz Sauer can be such a hero on the German scene, but so low-profile everywhere else. Few jazz improvisers have evolved something so trenchantly characterful from such a broad span of influences: 1940s swing-ballad smokiness, the brusque motivic diversions of Sonny Rollins, post-Coltrane free-sax multiphonics and a lot more … There is a delicious conversation on Round Midnight between Sauer and pianist Bob Degen; one of the great sax improvisations on Lush Life; … This confirms that Sauer really ought to be up there with the biggest sax names you've ever heard of.”
John Fordham / The Guardian

Dieter Ilg

Dieter Ilg bass solo

Heinz Sauer – Bob Degen

Heinz Sauer tenor sax
Bob Degen piano