Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jean-Michel Pilc - One Helluva Pianist

In the summer of 2006 I was poking around jazz Web sites looking for club info in New York City...and saw a number of raving reviews for a French pianist named Jean-Michel Pilc. Which isn't something I'm used to seeing from New York reviewers. I found some snippets of him on the Web, and decided I needed to go to NYC to see him. A couple of weeks later he showed up in Philadelphia at Chris' Jazz Cafe with the drummer Ari Hoenig. The kind hostess at Chris', who had gotten used to seeing my face, seated me next to Pilc's right hand at the piano. I was, frankly, boggled. Especially by the left hand. The most ambidextrous playing I have ever seen - the fact he's self-taught, like Allan Holdsworth of guitar fame, may help explain his radical approach. I talked to him outside between sets, and he's a very interesting guy with some not surprisingly very independent thinking. There are links below to his Web site and to one of his song videos, a Monk medley. And the video doesn't do him justice. If you can find this guy, go listen, and watch.

Jean-Michel Pilc Web site

"Monk Medley"

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