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Album Review

Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc showed lots of promise with his early recordings, so the idea to pair him with the veteran bassist Hein Van De Geyn was an inspired one. The chemistry gels immediately as they tackle Miles Davis' "Nardis," which is almost always identified with Bill Evans because of the legendary pianist's many recordings of this modal classic. The duo has their own way of building upon the eerie mood inherent within the piece while resisting the rapid tempos which Evans preferred. Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" is more obtuse with Pilc only playing brief snatches as Van De Geyn's catlike bassline weaves around him. Standards like "Alice in Wonderland," "My Funny Valentine," and "My Foolish Heart" are all approached from unlikely angles, often sounding much darker than their original composers intended. Pilc's original compositions are equally intriguing but take longer to appreciate, especially the dense but hypnotic "The Long Journey." Recommended.

The Long Journey, Hein Van de Geyn
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