146

Jean-Michel Pilc: Cardinal Points

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
Jean-Michel Pilc: Cardinal Points A restless, cacophonous plunge formed of stylistic syntheses, rapid streams of tempo changes, textural reversals, sonic leaps, and rhythmic discords, Cardinal Points vaults toward new realms of jazz piano expression.

Unlike many modern pianists, particularly those working in trio settings, Jean-Michel Pilc does not emulate the emotional vulnerability displayed and established by Bill Evans, that tight-rope walk of sensual suffering which both established the relevance of classical training to jazz and expanded the palette of emotive texture.

Courageously, Pilc reveals what few performers confront: it's not the specific persona revealed that denotes personal expression, but the willingness to display one's interior space. For Pilc, that means exposing not only an astute emotional landscape, but also a tremendously lucid and restive mind. There are no stable points of reference in Pilc's compositions or playing, and this is its fundamental brilliance.

Pilc employs a quartet for the first eight pieces of the album, the sonorously inviting "Fred's Walk,"; the diverse, blistering series "South," "West," "North," and "East"; "Ari's Mode," "Cardinal Points," and the album's only standard, "Mood Indigo." The spectrum of sound and rhythm presented here is downright remarkable, particularly the unusual use of percussion instruments, not to mention the pyrotechnic quality of musicianship.

Each a unique achievement, these eight volcanic explorations presage with their tumultuous diversity the album's culminating experience, the four part "Trio Sonata." This stunning coup was composed for and performed by Pilc's standing trio, revealing the lasting effect of Evans on Pilc's style, an influence he both acknowledges and uses as springboard. Both compositionally and in performance, this extended piece stands as a provocative example of jazz and classical integration, as well as group improvisation.

With Cardinal Points, Pilc offers a highly demanding sonic challenge, the cerebral quality of which is rivaled only by its personal eloquence. This deserves not only several listens, but deep contemplation.


Track Listing: 1. Fred's Walk 2. South 3. West 4. North 5. East 6. Ari's Mode 7. Mood Indigo 8. Cardinal Points 9. Trio Sonata-Part I 10. Trio Sonata-Part II 11. Trio Sonata-Part III 12. Trio Sonata-Part IV

Personnel: Jean-Michel Pilc: Piano; Sam Newsome: Soprano Sax; James Genus: Bass; Francois Moutin: Bass on "Trio Sonata"; Ari Hoenig: Drums; Abdou M'Boup: Percussion.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Dreyfus Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "In Case Of Fire" CD/LP/Track Review In Case Of Fire
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 17, 2016
Read "Still, Up In The Air" CD/LP/Track Review Still, Up In The Air
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Moments in Time" CD/LP/Track Review Moments in Time
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Further Explorations" CD/LP/Track Review Further Explorations
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Sputnik Stan Vol. 1: A Fistful Of Junk" CD/LP/Track Review Sputnik Stan Vol. 1: A Fistful Of Junk
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: March 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!