556

Jean-Michel Pilc: Follow Me

Andrew Durkin By

Sign in to view read count
Jean-Michel Pilc: Follow Me 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

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Dreyfus Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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 "Rough Enough" CD/LP/Track Review Rough Enough
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by John Sharpe
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Endemic Ensemble: Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Endemic Ensemble: Tangled
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "For Free" CD/LP/Track Review For Free
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Night Music" CD/LP/Track Review Night Music
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 4, 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!