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Pilc/Moutin/Hoenig: Threedom

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This remarkably intuitive trio has the ability to collectively bend the harmonic and rhythmic content of familiar jazz standards like taffy. In their most playful mode, as they were during a recent engagement at the Blue Note, it’s like watching the Flying Karamazov Brothers tossing bowling pins back and forth from across the stage. While they have been playing together as a trio off and on since 1995, with each member leading the group at different times throughout the years, they have arrived at a place now where there is no leader. Hence, the cooperative band name and album title, which implies three playing as one, freely. As pianist Jean-Michel Pilc has stated, “It’s something that to me transcends who we are individually. It’s not a trio, it’s Pilc/Moutin/Hoenig solo.”

Indeed, the muse appears and seems to pull them into unexpected directions on well-charted territory. And the impetus for a sudden change of course harmonically or an abrupt tempo shift might come from any of the players at any time. In essence, the Pilc/Moutin/Hoenig entity approaches each of the familiar jazz standards on Threedom with carte blanche and a license for reinvention. They put their own personal stamp on Miles’ “Nardis.” And it’s the uncanny flexibility of the rhythm tandem of bassist Francois Moutin and the incredibly melodic drummer Ari Hoenig (catch his clearly articulated stating of the head on the drum kit at the outset of Monk’s “Think of One” and Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation”) that allows them to do so. Add in the mercurial spirit, restless imagination and staggering technical facility of pianist Pilc and you have a trio that can truly go anywhere within the music at any time.

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