Jean-Michel Pilc (born 1960 in Paris, France) is a self-taught jazz pianist currently residing in Montreal. His technical ability has drawn comparisons to Michel Petrucciani, McCoy Tyner, and Cecil Taylor. Of particular note is Pilc's left-hand technique, which provides an almost ambidextrous approach to the keyboard. In addition to his own projects, he is a member of a group led by drummer Ari Hoenig.
While living in Europe, Pilc toured in forty countries and participated in more than a dozen recordings, as well as one film score.
Pilc moved to New York City in 1995. He formed a trio with François Moutin (bass) and Ari Hoenig (drums). Soon, they were performing in most jazz venues in New York City, including Blue Note, Birdland, Knitting Factory, and Sweet Basil.
They recorded a one-week engagement at Sweet Basil and, in 2000, released Jean-Michel Pilc Trio – Together – Live at Sweet Basil, NYC – Vol. 1 & 2 (A-Records), which received critical acclaim in the US and in Europe. Then Pilc signed a multi-record deal with Dreyfus Records. Pilc's first album for Dreyfus, Welcome Home (featuring the same trio), was released at the beginning of 2002. The Jean-Michel Pilc Trio did a five-week tour for Welcome Home in 2002, followed by a four-week fall tour of seven European countries (including the Rising Stars Tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland).
Pilc's next album for Dreyfus, Cardinal Points, was released in 2003. JazzTimes chose the CD as one of its Top 50 Picks for Critics Picks 2003, and the album received a four-star "Hot Box" review in Down Beat. Cardinal Points features Pilc's extended work "Trio Sonata", funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Pilc also got several grants from Meet the Composer, as well as the Django Reinhardt Prize from the French Jazz Academy (in 2000).
In 2004, Pilc released his first solo album, Follow Me (Dreyfus). That year he also toured worldwide, performing solo and with his New Trio, featuring Thomas Bramerie (bass) and Mark Mondesir (drums). In addition to his solo and trio engagements, he teaches in clinics and master classes. Pilc and his New Trio were recorded live at Iridium Jazz Club, New York City, in October 2004. The resulting live album was released on Dreyfus in October 2005. He also released New Dreams with this trio in 2007, also on the Dreyfus label.
Pilc has played with Chris Potter, Daniel Humair, Dave Liebman, Jean Toussaint, John Abercrombie, Kenny Garrett, Lenny White, Lew Soloff, Marcus Miller, Martial Solal, Michael Brecker, Michel Portal, Richard Bona, Rick Margitza, and Roy Haynes. He worked as pianist and musical director for Harry Belafonte.
Pilc teaches at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- 1989 Funambule (Blue Line)
- 1993 Big One
- 2000 Together: Live at Sweet Basil (A/Challenge)
- 2001 Together: Live at Sweet Basil, Vol. 2 (Challenge)
- 2001 The Long Journey (Challenge)
- 2002 Welcome Home (Dreyfus)
- 2003 Cardinal Points (Dreyfus)
- 2004 Follow Me (Dreyfus)
- 2005 Live at Iridium, New York (Dreyfus)
- 2007 New Dreams (Dreyfus)
- 2010 True Story (Dreyfus)
- 2011 Threedom (Motéma)
- 2015 Composing (Storyville)
- "Jean-Michel Pilc | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 October 2016.