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What Is This Thing Called?

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, February 3, 2015
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Editorial Reviews

The language of jazz has many dialects. They can be regional, cultural or generational. One could argue that each musician must be responsible for his or her own dialect, if they are to be a truly distinct talent. An original statement, in this case a tune, presented by any individual musician can be interpreted in a multitude of ways.

Paris-born, New York City based pianist Jean-Michel Pilc explores this concept in depth on his new solo release, What Is This Thing Called? Under the most optimal conditions, Pilc recorded what amounts to unique themes and variations based on the much-revered Cole Porter chestnut, What Is This Thing Called Love? Instead of creating a tedious exercise in rehashing similar idea after similar idea, the recording presents a tremendous portrait of the vast musical language Pilc has developed over his three decades as a professional jazz musician.

Pilc has established himself as a respected composer, bandleader and sideman, as well as a formidable pianist, highly praised by his peers, and considered a major influence by many of his younger colleagues. His technique and taste have been heralded for many years. Pilc s gifts are strikingly apparent when they are heard in a solo performance. Listeners are lucky to have two previous examples of his solo work available, Follow Me (Dreyfus, 2004) and Essential (Motéma, 2011).

Pilc proposed a new solo release to Sunnyside, and contacted his friend and fellow pianist Dan Tepfer, who had recently released a solo recital that was recorded at Yamaha Artist Services in New York City. Pilc - already a Yamaha artist himself - reached out to Tepfer, who then helped to secure time for Pilc at the studio and the use of a wonderful Yamaha CFX piano for three days, and was in charge of recording and mastering the album. The studio provided a setting removed from distraction, as Pilc was able to come in when he wanted and record on his own. Initially, he recorded all sorts of pieces under no pressure. It was an ideal environment for an improviser.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (February 3, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sunnyside Communicat
  • ASIN: B00PG4GFJA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,838 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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