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Jean-Michel Pilc Trio with Sam Newsome at Blue Note's Sunday Brunch
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Jean-Michel Pilc Trio with Sam Newsome at Blue Note's Sunday Brunch

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Sunday Jazz Brunch
Jean-Michel Pilc Trio
(Jean-Michel Pilc Website)
Jean-Michel Pilc on Piano
Mike Richmond on Bass
Billy Drummond on Drums
Special Guest: Sam Newsome, Saxophone
Blue Note
131 West 3rd Street at Sixth Ave.

General Manager: Tom Bailey
Media Contact: Jonathan Kantor

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 1, 2006

Program Notes, courtesy of Jean-Michel Pilc:

Set I:
Straight No Chaser (Monk)
Bye Bye Blackbird (Henderson)
Golden Key (Pilc)
Cardinal Points (Pilc)
Set II: (Reviewed Below)
Blue Monk Scenes 3 & 4 (Pilc)
All Blues

Jean-Michel Pilc was born in Paris and worked as a rocket scientist, before he became a full-time musician. He was self-taught and immersed in jazz at the early age of eight, which is when he first heard Bix Beiderbecke. After many European performances, Pilc arrived in the US in 1995 and joined Harry Belafonte as Music Director. Pilc has performed with Roy Haynes, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Marcus Miller, and Kenny Garrett.(Publicity Notes). Today, for the second jazz brunch set, this energetic and very contemporary pianist performed on the Bösendorfer, which rose nicely to the challenge. Pilc’s dissonant and driven music, some self-composed and some self-arranged, was fascinating and fused. Sam Newsome, whom I once reviewed at the Bösendorfer New York showroom, took immediate sax solos, long and fragmented, with Mike Richmond echoing in bass interpretation. There was an “underwater” quality to this sound, meandering and mournful. At times, Jean-Michel Pilc played the piano’s inner strings, as an enhancement to the bass, in an ethereal escapade. Pilc then switched keys, in deeper improvisation. Sam Newsome joined, as the volume increased, and the band played with rhythm and repetition, thanks to Billy Drummond’s drums. Newsome’s sax went off the scale, joining the Bösendorfer’s chords.

The following work brought melody, with an extended sax riff, soaring and playful, followed by Pilc’s solo showcase. Pilc has command of his genre and mixes tones and styles with ease. Pilc went on a billowing blitz, with abstract atonality, followed, once again, by stark, deep bass tonality. They ended on a soft piano melody, with Drummond on cymbals, with their own tonal ride. An echoing effect developed with 7, then 10 repetitive notes, as the Bösendorfer joined in. Pilc’s original music is atmospheric and absorbing. His definitive sound returns with varying instrumentations, as he brings the theme to higher and lower registers. Pilc built on a cacophony, a thunderous storm with sliding scales. A hint of Miles Davis appeared in the midst of repetitive chords. Check for current and upcoming events at Blue Note. Tell them you saw them on

Sam Newsome, Jean-Michel Pilc, Billy Drummond, Mike Richmond
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at