The Bob Degen Trio has its roots firmly planted in the foundations of Jazz tradition with branches spanning out to embrace contemporary improvisation. This constitutes the heart-wood of the trio's music.
The trio is led by the pianist/composer, Bob Degen and complemented by Markus Schieferdecker (bass) and Peter Perfido (drums).Their repertoire draws from a wealth of Bob Degen's original compositions which combine a lush harmonic sense as well as an affinity for spare yet rich melodies.They have recently released the CD “Jake Remembered” on Enja records. This recording features ten new compositions from Bob Degen. Trumpet player Valentin Garvie is featured as guest soloist on a number of tracks.
Bob Degen's musical history:
Robert William “Bob” Degen (born 24, January 1944 Scranton, PA. U.S.A.) is an American pianist and composer. He grew up in a very musical family. He was encouraged from a very early age to become a musician. On weekends, Bob Degen Sr. (a guitarist) brought young Bob to NYC to visit the famous Jazz Clubs on 52nd St.. Some of the great players he heard were Lester Young, Jo Jones,
Coleman Hawkins, Sarah Vaughan, John Coltrane, Art Tatum, George Shearing, Ben Webster,
Errol Garner, Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” Sextet and Mary Lou Williams amongst many others. He also witnessed historic concerts such as The Bill Evans Trio with Scott Lafaro and Paul Motian on the same bill as The Thelonious Monk Quartet at the Five Spot.
At the early age of 12, Bob made his NYC debut at the famous 52nd St. Club the Hickory House. He was invited as a special guest of pianist Marian Mc Partland to perform with bassist Bill Crow and drummer Joe Morello.
In the early 60's, Bob attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston graduating in 1963. He was accepted by the legendary Madame Margaret Chaloff as a private student. He became a member of the circle of jazz players that studied with her, including Herbie Hancock, Steve Kuhn, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea.
During this time, he met and played at jam sessions with a very young Tony Williams (13 years old).
Bob travelled to Europe for the first time in 1965 and was immediately accepted by US expatriate musicians such as Dexter Gordon, Oscar Pettiford, Carmell Jones, Art Farmer and Leo Wright.
He returned to the US in 1966 to work in his own trio featuring Paul Motian and Mark Lewinson.
In 1972, Bob moved to Frankfurt, Germany to join Albert Mangelsdorff in the Jazz Ensemble of Hessische Rundfunk.
In Germany he played for many years with saxophonist Heinz Sauer. Their Duo LP “Ellingtonia Revisited” was awarded several prizes in Europe. He recorded his first LP for Enja records “Sequoia Song” in 1976, featuring Makaya Ntshoko and Isla Eckinger. As a result of this recording Bob became popular in Japan and a “Bob Degen Fan Club” was born. Further releases on Enja include “Chartreuse” featuring bassist Harvie Schwartz, “Makaya and the Tsotsis” featuring Heinz Sauer and Isla Eckinger.
In the early 90's, the CD “Catability” was released on Enja. Recorded in NYC with Michael Formanek and Bill Stewart. He also played as a sideman on “In my Dreams” with Dusko Goykovich and “Deep in a dream” by Charlie Mariano both on Enja.
In 1994, he won the Landes Jazz Prize in Hessen, Germany.
Since 2008, Bob has co-led a quartet featuring bass clarinetist Michel Pilz with Markus Schieferdecker, bass, and Peter Perfido, drums. Their CD “Tilly's Eyes” on Jazz Haus Music has received critical acclaim throughout Europe.
Bob's compositions have been published in solo, trio and quartet versions in Japan.
A sample of some of the great musicians Bob has performed with include: Adelhard Roidinger, Kent Carter, Phil Woods, Alan Dawson, Attilla Zoller, Hans Koller, Zbignew Namyslowski, Gerd Dudek, Wolfgang Engstfield, Buddy Defranco, Cameron Brown, Janusz Stefanski, Gunther Lenz, Ralf Hübner, David Friedman, and many more.