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It's about music : the art and heart of improvisation

by Jean-Michel Pilc

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Published Reviews   (2013-04-18)


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by kazuemcgregor

Jean-Michel Pilc is currently one of the most innovative pianists in jazz.  His expressions of form sometimes are the equal of extended classical pieces.  His imagination is limitless.  And now we are fortunate to have a book by him, an accounting that gives us a bit of insight into where this all came from, but more importantly, how we can tap into that same brilliant stream that lies within us all.

-- Kenny Werner, faculty, New York University, jazz piano and composition


Jean-Michel Pilc touches on the core of that which is unquantifiable in great art making in this masterwork.  Every page is filled with language that beautifully descibes the invisible process of spontaneous improvisation.  This work has the potential to break down all sorts of barriers in the world of music education and liberate those that struggle with the limits of their own knowledge.  I know that my perspective on improvisation, both as an improviser and teacher, is reenergized and forever changed after reading this magical book.

-- Larry Koonse, faculty, California Institute of the Arts, jazz guitarist


What (Pilc) has set out to do is nigh impossible.  He is "teaching" about the "creative process", whose concepts are inherently antithetical to one another.  Somehow, he has managed to pull it off; and pull it off with a great deal of his personality shining through, which only serves to prove the point.  This book is an exceptional work -- there is no other like it --truly amazing.

-- Joey Sellers, composer, trombonist, Director of Jazz Studies at Saddleback College CA


This is a new required read for all of my students -- not so they'll be more studied, "better" musicians, but so they will feel free to find their own voice, make their own choices, and grow their art into a pure, proud expression of their struggles and triumphs through life.

-- Megan Swan, Executive Director, Young Musicians Performance Academy, Manhattan Beach CA


(More available on the front and back covers)


E-book versions are available on iBooks and Kindle.  Hard copies are available for purchase from Glen Lyon Books at

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