All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

556

Jean-Michel Pilc: Follow Me

By

Sign in to view read count
Given the Francophobia that has reared its ugly head in American politics over the last few years, it's a relief to see that Stateside jazz fans, at least, are still open to the contributions of European practitioners of the art form. So, for instance, Jean-Michel Pilc's latest CD, the somewhat generically named Follow Me , has been getting great reviews here in the States. And why shouldn't it? A former scientist, Pilc plays with a precision that in places is reminiscent of Bill Evans or Oscar Peterson. More importantly (and also like Evans and Peterson) he avoids sounding dry or academic despite the fact that he rarely misses a note.

What may be most admirable about Pilc's artistry, though, is that he seems to understand that there can be a productive relationship between the forces that have threatened to destroy jazz since the eighties—the alternate realities of "out" and "in" (or, put another way, of the avant-garde and the mainstream). Though it may be tempting to hear Pilc as leaning more toward the musical inside (a sense perhaps reinforced by the standards he selects on this record, and by the pretty title track, a Pilc original), he's not afraid to complicate the more "lyrical" aspects of his sound with a subtle but insistent pianistic subversiveness. Listen, for example, to the sudden clusters that pepper his rendition of "My Favorite Things." Or the Monk-like anti-ending of "Autumn Leaves." Or the atonal countermelody woven into the beginning of "Ain't Misbehavin'." Pilc is equally Janus-faced as a composer: for instance, the aforementioned "Follow Me" is nicely balanced with a more angular original, cryptically entitled "The Racoon."

In the end, there's a vague restlessness to this recording, as if Pilc is torn between competing impulses to put a given tune together and then take it apart again. No complaint, that; it's another way of saying that Pilc leans toward a comprehensive pianism, ably expressing—on a single instrument, no less—so much of what has made jazz fascinating, problematic, or inspiring over the last hundred years.


Track Listing: 1 Follow Me 3:34 2 Les Amants d'Un Jour 3:28 3 St. Louis Blues 3:18 4 My Favorite Things 4:32 5 If I Should Lose You 3:24 6 St James Infirmary 3:44 7 Happiness Seven 2:08 8 One for My Baby 4:26 9 The Racoon 3:32 10 Autumn Leaves 3:12 11 Ain't Misbehavin' 3:22 12 Beaver Dam 3:55 13 Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir 2:55 14 B Minor Waltz 3:35 15 Oleo 1:32 16 Les Copains d'Abord 4:02

Personnel: Jean-Michel Pilc: Piano and whistling

Title: Follow Me | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Dreyfus Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Love & Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Nattens Skogar – version for four players" CD/LP/Track Review Nattens Skogar – version for four players
by John Eyles
Published: December 1, 2017
Read "I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert" CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Parallels" CD/LP/Track Review Parallels
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 8, 2018
Read "Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. 10: Toronto" CD/LP/Track Review Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. 10: Toronto
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 9, 2018
Read "Radiant Imprints" CD/LP/Track Review Radiant Imprints
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 8, 2018