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CD/LP/Track Review

Jean-Michel Pilc: True Story (2010)

By Published: May 12, 2010
Jean-Michel Pilc: True Story Paris-born pianist Jean-Michel Pilc continues his impressive series of Dreyfus Jazz releases with True Story, his first album since 2006's New Dreams and the debut effort for his exciting new trio featuring respected veteran drummer Billy Hart
Billy Hart
Billy Hart
b.1940
drums
and talented Russian-born bassist Boris Kozlov
Boris Kozlov
Boris Kozlov
b.1967
bass
. The 49-year-old Pilc, a resident of New York for the past 15 years, is a self-taught musician whose varied experience includes playing with masters like Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
b.1926
drums
, Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
1949 - 2007
sax, tenor
and Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
b.1946
saxophone
, among many others, as well as a stint as musical director and pianist for Harry Belafonte. He is a cerebral, yet deeply passionate artist, whose adventurous post-bop style recalls Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
and Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
, both for his expertly crafted, impressionistic soloing and dynamic interplay with his trio mates.

Twelve of the fifteen tracks on True Story are Pilc originals, several of which—like "A Brief History of Time" and the five-part title suite—start off with simple, repeated melodies that evolve into swirling, harmonically dense improvisations. "B.B.B." is a heavily Monk-flavored piece with dramatic staccato rhythms while "Mornings with Franz," along with a gorgeous reworking of Schubert's "Relic," pay tribute to the renowned Romantic composer. Pilc and group also shine on two unlikely and completely reinvented covers: a revved-up rendition of Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Porter
1891 - 1964
composer/conductor
's "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," and an exquisite, emotionally wrenching reading of the bittersweet show tune, "Try to Remember."

Pilc makes music that's challenging, yet unabashedly beautiful. Along with his masterful keyboard technique, there's an intensity and seriousness to his music that rewards careful listening. It's a combination that should continue to earn this highly inventive artist critical plaudits, as well as, hopefully, a broad base of thoughtful fans.


Track Listing: The Other Night; Relic; PBH Factor; A Brief History of Time; High Sky: The Elegant Universe; Mornings With Franz; Kingston NY; Try to Remember; BBB; My Heart Belongs to Daddy; True Story Scene 1; True Story Scene 2; True Story Scene 3; True Story Scene 4; True Story Scene 5.

Personnel: Jean-Michel Pilc: piano; Boris Kozlov: bass; Billy Hart: drums.

Record Label: Dreyfus Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream



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