Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Jean-Michel Pilc, François Moutin, and Ari Hoenig, reunited this year under the collective name, Pilc Moutin Hoenig to record a much anticipated comeback project and to re-launch their touring career as a trio. Recorded in a completely improvised stream of single studio takes,Threedom documents the unique trio’s singular and completely unpredictable synchronicity. An enhanced CD, the disc also includes an exclusive video - shot live in the studio - which vividly reveals the method to their improvisational madness.

“Albert Einstein once said, 'Behind anything that can be experienced, there is something that our minds cannot grasp whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly.' This is exactly the way I feel about this trio,” explains pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, “François, Ari, and I have no choice but to surrender to that 'something' and let it create a brand new piece of music every time we play together.”

“We approached this record much like a family reunion,” reveals Hoenig, in his artist notes for the project. “Threedom incorporates new ideas as if to say, ‘this is what I’ve been up to since the last time we hung out.”
Moutin summarizes the 'PMH effect' this way: “Each time Ari, Jean-Michel, and I play together, I experience the feeling of being one cell of some utterly unpredictable, although beautifully coherent, living musical creature. This beast' s psyche escapes any of our individual control. It boosts our group's creativity by immersing all of us into a common landscape of emotions.”

Since their explosive touring days as The Jean-Michel Pilc Trio, each group member has grown considerably in stature both as leaders and sidemen. Pilc permanently moved to New York City in 1994, continuing his steady rise as a major pianist on the European and Canadian circuits, while also gaining a reputation in America as one of the most exciting and unpredictable pianist/composers in jazz. This is the second Motéma release for the pianist, who's March solo release, Essential has been hailed by the Washington Post as a “musical genius at work” and by the New York City Jazz Record as “…easily one of the pianist’s best recordings.”

Bassist François Moutin has since applied his lush tone, astonishing virtuosity, and intelligent musicality in a host of settings, most notably as co-leader of The Moutin Reunion Quartet, a group which has successfully toured Europe and the United States to much acclaim in recent years. A popular artist on the scene, Moutin was voted onto both the Bassist and Rising Star Bassist shortlists in this year's Downbeat Critics Poll.

The skilled and iconoclastic Ari Hoenig, self-defined as a ‘punk-jazz’ artist’, has made several solo records in the ensuing years, and is often in the press for his intense musical antics both as a leader and sideman. The importance of his artistic presence in New York City was recently profiled in Time Out New York's cover feature: The 25 Essential New York City Jazz Icons of 2011.

Throughout the years, Pilc, Moutin, and Hoenig have continued to play together as a live act now and then, but Threedom is their first new recording together since 2003's Welcome Home, and represents the official regrouping of the trio as a touring act. Armed with intense virtuosity, a highly unconventional musical sensibility, and their signature fearless commitment to creating in the moment, the trio is thrilled to be back together and well primed to hit the road.

Of the 18 tracks on Threedom, half are standards and the rest are improvisations ‘composed’ by the group in one take in the studio. The standards take on myriad new forms as the group reinterprets these familiar melodies through their seemingly impossible musical intimacy. Their music simultaneously radiates the confidence of three men who have played together for almost 13 years, while also retaining an unpredictable freshness that one might expect more from a first time meeting of masters in the studio.

Pilc Moutin Hoenig bring a welcome dose of magic to their jazz interpretations and typically elicit standing ovations at their concerts. Of their recent 2011 Montreal Jazzfest date, the Ottawa Citizen confirms, “the trio kept the audience and each other riveted with intense, uninhibited, continually surprising music."

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