"My philosophy is to have a really good time and never to let anything stop me from doing what I want to do."

Rezensionen

                    


1981

Michel Petrucciani
Quelle que soit la façon dont il attaque un morceau, Michel Petrucciani a toujours su se faire subtil et délicat, même lorsque l'on sentait l'impétuosité sous-tendre son jeu. Chez lui, et ici en particulier, les lignes mélodiques sont toujours claires, et l'harmonie, manifeste. Rien de plus normal quand on a choisi d'honorer maître Bill Evans ; quand on sait éviter d'en être l'élève appliqué et besogneux. Toujours pertinentes, ses improvisations déploient un swing chaleureux tout en suggestions qui fait honneur à l'illustre prédécesseur qu'il a pour modèle. Lyrique de bout en bout, le pianiste n'oublie jamais de faire chanter son instrument. Cet album a été enregistré pour le label français Owl. Et l'on connaît la passion de son producteur Jean-Jacques Pussiau pour l'art du piano acoustique dont il a sorti quelques indispensables témoignages (Ran Blake, Paul Bley, etc.). Entre Petrucciani et Pussiau, ce sera d'ailleurs une longue histoire d'amour dans laquelle Oracle's Destiny et Cold Blues, pour ne citer que ceux-là, s'avèrent être aussi indispensables.
Hervé Comte

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



Reviews:
the pianist at age 18 already a powerful force... and is more heavily influenced here by Bill Evans than he would be later. The trio performs two originals a piece by the pianist and drummer Romano, plus "Days of Wine and Roses" and a romp on "Cherokee." This CD shows that Petrucciani was a brilliant player from the start.
Scott Yanow, All Music Guide



1981

Date With Time Review
Michel Petrucciani was a few weeks shy of his 19th birthday when he recorded this solo CD, which was not widely available until it was distributed by Rhino nearly a decade later. The pianist's program is an ambitious one, starting with a dark, richly-textured interpretation of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" (incorrectly attributed to John Coltrane, although he did help to make the piece famous with his recording of it). His dramatic take of "'Round Midnight" has an especially haunting quality to it. Wes Montgomery's "Bumpin' on the Sunset" is also in good hands, with Petrucciani delivering a masterful performance. Petrucciani's originals are not quite as successful. "Santa Barbara" showcases his technique, but almost seems like an improvisation as he is attempting to work out a new composition in the studio. Likewise, "Mike Pee," a nickname given to him by legendary pianist Bill Evans (after he told the young man that his name was too long!), shows off his chops, but finds him not quite fully formed as a composer. This CD has been getting harder to find since Owl ceased operations, so fans of this talented pianist (who died in 1999, shortly after his 36th birthday) may have some difficulty locating it.
Ken Dryden, All Music Guide



1982

Toot Sweet
This is the first CD of the OWL series that Sunnyside is offering in the US. The french OWL label (now owned by Universal Music) became the most important French jazz label of the 80's. The quality of the recordings and the esthetic of the art made the reputation of the label. The Lee Konitz / Michel Petrucciani collaboration documents the meeting of the allways young master saxophonist and the young already mature pianist. Recorded in Paris, France, in May 1982.



Une rencontre à Paris, non dans un véritable studio mais au Centre musical Bosendorfer, un lieu plus chaud, plus humain. Toujours en quête d'émotions, Lee Konitz promène avec lui son saxophone alto, bien décidé à s'en servir de la plus belle façon. Le printemps à Paris inspire les poètes. Les réunir c'est multiplier par deux leur potentiel créateur, les inciter à donner le meilleur de leur art. En mai 1982, Michel Petrucciani n'est pas encore célèbre. Les deux hommes partagent la même sensibilité, aiment développer de longues phrases tranquilles. Leur respect des mélodies, leur lyrisme, n'exclut pas l'énergie. Ils peuvent donner ampleur et volume à leurs notes et les tendre grâce leur force. Tous deux ne cherchent qu'à rêver, improviser les yeux fermés. Deux standards leur en donnent l'occasion, deux longues plages oniriques qui nous mènent loin, très loin, hors du temps. En solo, leurs méditations sont des flâneries solitaires, des rencontres avec eux-mêmes. La musique déroule le ruban mélodique de leur vision intérieure.
Pierre de Chocqueuse

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



Le jazz se faufile sous la nuit. L'aube est sa maison. Il a les poches bourrées d'étoiles, qui refroidissent muettement, et de cendre bleue. Il s'assied près de sa solitude, au bord d'un trottoir, les pieds pâle bitume du matin, et lui murmure de considérables douceurs, qui font plus mal que les détresses, et sont candides comme un premier jour. En moins d'un siècle, le jazz est devenu aussi vieux que la terre. Ce n'est plus un secret, on a vu les photos dans Paris-Match : Quand tout était vague et vide, dieu possédait un gramophone a pavillon sur lequel il remoulait a longueur d'infini : Mabel's Dream, Keyhole Blues, Misty Morning, Easy Goes It, Blue Lester, Billie's Bounce, Naima, Spirits Rejoice. Du coin des lèvres, il lachait des petits ronds de nuage, les yeux a demi clos, et marchait la mesure de son inimaginable talon. Dieu bichait comme un pou, c'était le bon temps. Oh le jazz est terriblement vieux, maintenant. Immémorial. Pourtant il est né de la dernière pluie. Il est né de la rosée de ce matin. Je veux dire, quand il est bon. Quand il est bon, il ressemble au soleil. Qui s'étonne chaque matin d'être là et voit avec ahurissement des milliers d'oiseaux jaillir de ses paupières. Il s'éveille a lui-même dans une stupéfaction de colosse. Il n'a plus de passe, et de ruse moins encore. Il est nu dans un monde faire. Tout peut recommencer. Quand le jazz n'existait pas, ou guère, il était assez facile de l'inventer. Désormais, le jazz précède d'une génération au moins tous ses créateurs. Les chemins sont faits, même celui des écoliers. Il y a des repères partout. Le jazz est devenu une sorte d'autoroute, et puis il a ses règles, ses habitudes, des manies. Une place a été prévue pour chaque chose, y compris pour l'imprévisible, qui loge a une adresse donnée. Dans ces conditions, comment peut-on encore être naïf - c'est-a-dire jazzman ? Personne n'en sait rien. Ni moi. En principe, on ne devrait pas pouvoir. D'aucuns y arrivent cependant. Quelquefois. Je suppose qu'ils en sont les premiers surpris, et c'est ce qu'il y a beau. Par exemple, Lee Konitz et Michel Petrucciani dans ce disque. D'abord ils entendent une rhapsodie. Tout le monde la connaît, c'est un vieux charmant saucisson. Eux seuls ont l'air de ne l'avoir jamais entendue. L'air et la chanson. L'éblouie et chancelante chanson du jazz en train de se réenfanter, comme se réenfantent les corps amoureux. Lee avance, incrédule. Dans une rue ou il habite depuis longtemps et qui, soudain, s'est mise à ressembler a la lune, quand le soleil l'attend. Pendant ce temps, jouant avec les doigts de Michel, une autre rhapsodie (mais c'est la même), neuve mais éternelle se met a frissonner, tel un grésillement de lumières au ras de l'eau, a l'aube encore une fois. Ils se mettent à nager dans le brouillard, accrochés aux cintres du mystère. Les voilà partis, voyageurs de dedans de la tète, qui regardent les images avec l'envers des yeux. Ils ont décollé. Il n'y a plus d'autoroute la-haut, le jour et la nuit sont chacun le miroir de l'autre. C'est le bon endroit pour renaître. Ils ne toucherons plus terre, a quoi bon? Quitte a planer... Le disque s'achève, ils voguent encore, et pour longtemps. C'est en nous qu'ils voguent, dans nos lointains et nos profonds. Et nous sommes embarqués, comme océan est embarqué par ses navires. Amateur de jazz depuis trente-six mille ans, entasseur de cire et de souvenirs, on croit tout connaître et puis on ne sait rien. Si quelqu'un m'avait dit tout a l'heure, avant d'entendre leechel Petruccianitz, qu'un musicien serait encore capable de me faire perdre le nord, en rond autour de minuit, endroit que je connais comme ma poche, j'aurais fait gicler un rire de vitriol sur cet insolent. Ce merveilleux disque a douché mes prétentions. Ainsi donc, le jazz vient tout juste de paraître ? Ainsi donc, tout est encore possible ? Tout est encore possible, comme lorsqu'il n'y avait rien et que Jack Papa Laine. Achetait d'occasion sa première grosse caisse a un revendeur sournois de Rampart Street ? Puisqu'on vous le dit ! Puisqu'ils vous le disent, Michel Petrucciani et Lee Konitz ! Puisqu'ils ne disent rien et font dans ce vibrant silence, dans ce cristal lustre, monter un soleil neuf, tout bleu.

Alain Gerber



Judging from their frequent occurrence in his long discography, duet sessions are among Lee Konitz's favorites. These intimate settings have also encouraged some of his best work; for example, his 1967 album The Lee Konitz Duets (Milestone/OJC), on which he performed with several diverse partners in an astonishing range of styles. The mood is more focussed on Sunnyside's reissue of Toot Sweet, a 1982 session with Michel Petrucciani originally released on the now-defunct Owl label.
At the time of the recording, the pianist was not yet 20 years old, and the marks of his acknowledged greatest influence, Bill Evans, are readily apparent. In fact, the opening track, a searching "I Hear A Rhapsody" readily brings to mind Evans' own duet version with Jim Hall from the classic Undercurrent (United Artists 1962; reissued on Blue Note).
Petrucciani is his own man, however, even at this early stage; his lovely solo piece "To Erlinda" begins in a pensive Evans mode, but soon moves through sweeping runs, thunderous left-hand chords, and bluesy asides in a more original style.

Konitz, as usual, methodically explores every nook and cranny of each tune's melody, particularly on the 15-minute, abstract takes of "Round About Midnight" and "Lover Man" that form the centerpiece of the album. Although Konitz is often referred to as a "cool-toned" altoist, this is somewhat misleading; he sometimes produces a quite astringent sound, particularly in the upper register, with a bit of blues wail to it. This suits perfectly the pathos inherent in "Lover Man," which offers the best playing on the record.

On this tune, Konitz continually dances in an angular fashion around the melody, never quite actually playing it through, but revealing its every facet by a kind of musical triangulation. Petrucciani alternately prods and follows his elder partner through the tune, here offerring a propulsive, bluesy foundation, there picking up phrases of Konitz's and dancing them around the rhythm. Throughout the album but especially in this setting, the interaction between the musicians is wonderful, as they play with an attentiveness and empathy that is a joy to hear. This is a great find, and kudos to Sunnyside for resurrecting it. Highly recommended.

Quelle: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=12152



1983

Comme un soupir avant la fin du monde

Oracle's Destiny
En riant, il dit de lui-même:"Je suis un type qui va vite". Ou encore, se moquant avec sérieux, "Je suis un type très rapide, ce n'est ni un choix, ni une envie, c'est ma vie qui va vite". Sur cet album, Michel Petrucciani va vite, il va vite au but, mais avec une délicieuse lenteur. Ballades au rythme majestueux, méditations harmoniques sans contrainte, tempos médium (le tempo des dieux), la musique se déploie avec ampleur, sans donner le change d'un quelconque artifice. Seule a exciter la mesure, la composition d'Aldo Romano - les autres sont du pianiste - Amalgame; le reste se libère à l'écart de toute nervosité et s'offre, tout naturellement, a Bill Evans, dédicataire prévisible d'Oracle's Destiny. Même profondeur, même verticalité des harmonies, même délicatesse du toucher, la musique va au bout d'elle-même, mais du bout des doigts. C'est dans l'hommage, et non dans l'imitation, que Michel Petrucciani affirme sa vraie nature: "Ce que je voudrais, et avec plus de force, c'est rendre ma musique aussi fraîche que possible, dit-il, essentiellement honnête et puissante. Une musique qui sorte du cœur". Pour ce faire, il n'a vraiment pas à forcer son talent. Qu'il songe ou non à Bill Evans, à qui l'on songe parfois en l'écoutant, c'est à Petrucciani qu'il fait surtout penser. Il y a dans son rayonnement, dans son évidente énergie intérieure, quelque chose de surprenant, d'émouvant, de sensible, de communicatif comme s'il avait décidé de faire de son talent une vie, et de sa vie une exception. On connaît sa manière d'endiabler les airs qu'il joue, la puissance et le déchaînement auxquels il s'abandonne en scène, cette allégresse qui le porte a sortir de lui-même et cette volonté tendue qui lui donne l'allure d'inventer la musique comme on le fait quand on commence, à l'aube des premières fois : " Le plus difficile, poursuit-il, c'est de faire passer la sincérité, le cœur, la vibration intime, comme un soupir avant la fin du monde. Voilà ce que je cherche en musique. Après tout, peut-être qu'un jour çà peut sauver le monde, qui sait ? " La singularité de cet album, son train si mesuré et comme pacifié, le rendent plus fort. Ouvrent l'espace où s'effectue précisément la précipitation ordinaire de Petrucciani. Ici, la musique se donne aux amoureux de la musique, ceux du tout premier cercle, comme une hommage ajusté, comme une justice rendue à Bill Evans, mais aussi avec la grâce illimitée d'un geste dont personne - pas plus l'ombre de Bill Evans que le premier venu ou le dernier des vauriens - ne serait étonné qu'il ait un jour contribué a sauver, justement, le monde.

Francis Marmande (Jazz Magazine)



1984

Note N' Notes Review
Showing the influence of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, as well as an expansive understanding of jazz in general, pianist Michel Petrucciani weaves myriad textures, rhythms, and styles at the keyboard, producing work that sounds both complex and seamless. His brevity comes from both incredible technique and an ease with a wide range of musical settings: quintets, quartets, trios, and an assortment of duo settings. Petrucciani further expands the field here with a solo program of two originals and two standards. He kicks things off with the self-penned "The Round Boys Dance," an abstract boogie-woogie number full of mercurial improvisation. Petrucciani maintains the momentum on "Eugenia," evoking the buoyancy of John Lewis' "Afternoon in Paris" while tossing off a wealth of fresh solo ideas. He tones things down with meditations on Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" and Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine," practically transforming both pieces by thoroughly exploring their almost symphonic terrain, especially on the Ellington cut. A great Petrucciani disc and certainly one of the finer solo jazz piano records available.
Stephen Cook, All Music Guide



1984

100 Hearts
Ce récital de piano solo de 1983, enregistré en studio et initialement paru dans la "George Wein Collection", permit à l'époque de mieux faire connaître Michel Petrucciani au public américain. Michel, qui n'a que vingt ans, ne se prive pas de montrer son savoir-faire. Ses larges et puissantes mains font danser les notes les plus lointaines de son clavier et combinent d'impossibles accords, un festival de technique au service d'un éblouissant jeu orchestral, avec "St. Thomas" de Rollins comme principal morceau de bravoure. Michel est toutefois beaucoup plus lui-même dans un pot-pourri mêlant "Someday My Prince Will Come", "All The Things You Are" et "Very Early" ainsi que dans "100 Hearts", un thème de sa plume qui révèle son fort tempérament romantique, cette délicate pudeur harmonique qui le rend plus proche d'un Bill Evans que d'un Oscar Peterson.
--Pierre de Chocqueuse

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



More and more, imitation is giving way to derivation as he reaches out to bring together the elements to form his own musical identity and this is especially the case in the solo piano feature - 100 Hearts [Concord CCD-43001].

His interpretation of Charlie Haden's Silence and Ornette Coleman's Turnaround are a portent of things to come in terms of the singular solo piano style that he would put on display later in his career, especially on the Dreyfus Jazz solo piano recordings of the 1990s about which more later in Section 2C.

Michel learned the blues Turnaround from Charlie Hayden and he was to play it in a variety of arrangements and tempos for the remainder of his career. In commenting to Leonard Feather about the piece he noted: "It's hard to find a really good blues line that hasn't been used too much. This has a feeling of major and minor at the same time."
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1985

Cold Blues
Michel Petrucciani's last OWL recording before hooking up with Blue Note, this set of duets matches the tiny but powerful pianist with bassist Ron McClure. They perform post-bop explorations of four originals (including an ad-lib "Cold Blues"), "Autumn Leaves" and "There Will Never Be Another You." The interplay between the two musicians is impressive, but although McClure plays a prominent role, Petrucciani is clearly the dominant force. Worth searching for.
Scott Yanow, All Music Guide



Michel Petrucciani and bassist Ron McClure are very well-matched on Cold Blues, a 1985 reissued recording that mixes originals and standards. There's plenty of rhapsodic harmonic exploration on ballads like Petrucciani's "Beautiful but Why?" and McClure's "Something Like This", with the bassist's memorable etching of the melody. On "I Just Say Hello", another Petrucciani ballad, the piano has a glittering, bell-like clarity, the expansive line surrounding the warm-toned bass that underpins it. In contrast, there's extraordinary drive in Petrucciani's take on "There Will Never Be Another You", delivered with such verve that one might imagine a drummer present. Petrucciani's playing was always remarkable for its sudden shifts in direction and texture and McClure's close listening and fast hands provide a fine complement.

Quelle: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=28343



1985

Michel Petrucciani au Village Vanguard de New York en mars 1984. Avec Palle Danielsson à la contrebasse et Eliot Zigmund à la batterie, il dispose d'un très inventif trio tout à l'écoute de sa musique. Avec la même équipe, Michel enregistrera "Pianism", l'un de ses meilleurs disques Blue Note. D'emblée, avec "Nardis", nous sommes dans le vif du sujet. Petrucciani nous en offre une relecture onirique, introduisant seul le thème avant d'être rejoint par ses musiciens. Il y a bien sûr le morceau de bravoure, "Oleo" de Rollins abordé sur un tempo très rapide, mais surtout on y découvre le pianiste et compositeur romantique, le chant du coeur d'un grand petit bonhomme amoureux des belles notes, des improvisations aux envolées lyriques. Un beau programme dans lequel Michel et ses musiciens se montrent particulièrement inspirés.
--Pierre de Chocqueuse

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



Amazon.com
With this 1984 effort, originally released as a double LP, French piano phenom Michel Petrucciani (who died in 1999) goes out of his way to associate himself with the late, legendary Bill Evans. Recorded at New York's Village Vanguard, site of a famous Evans live album, it features onetime Evans drummer Eliot Zigmund (along with bassist Palle Danielsson, a favorite of Keith Jarrett's) and opens with "Nardis," a Miles Davis composition that Evans obsessed over. For all that, Petrucciani has no trouble projecting a strong individual identity in showcasing his classically dipped, bop-treated lyricism and stirring into his trio a potent mixture that fits somewhere between the innovative, interactive approach Evans favored and the pianist-plus-accompaniment approach of jazz convention. The songs, including a romping treatment of Sonny Rollins's "Oleo" and several sparkling Petrucciani originals, are epic in scope but intimate in effect.
--Lloyd Sachs



In 1983 and 1984, Michel released on the Concord label his first albums recorded in the United States.
The presence of a Bill Evans influence on Michel style is very discernable on the second on these recordings - The Michel Petrucciani Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard [Concord CCD-43006.
By the time of this album in 1983, Evans had been the dominant influence on any number of Jazz pianists over the past 20 years. Frankly, it's almost impossible to talk about any pianist in the Jazz world of the 1960's and 70's who wasn't influenced by Bill Evans to some degree.
Petrucciani was only 21 years of age at the time these recordings were made and as he commented to Leonard Feather: "Oh man, for me, Bill Evans is the salt of the earth."

Incidentally, Michel Petrucciani only met Bill Evans on one occasion before Bill's death in September 1980. The two had an amiable visit during which Bill suggested that Michel's name was too long for a Jazz musician. Instead he suggested that Michel use the name "Mike Pee." Thereafter, all of Michel's original composition which published through his very own publishing house - "Mike Pee Music!"

On the Live at the Village Vanguard recording, considering that venue's close association with Bill Evans throughout the latter's illustrious career and the fact that Eliot Zigmund, who had a long stint with Bill is the drummer on the date along with Palle Danielsson on bass and that the opening tune is Nardis, a signature piece of Bill's, is it any wonder that it was hard for Michel to get out from under the Evans influence?

Yet here again, one can hear Michel reaching out to be his own man on a blistering version of Sonny Rollins' Oleo with its rambling solo introduction that was much in Sonny's tradition of coming-at-it-from-all-directions introduction to tunes. Michel's chromatic runs and percussive riffs and his ability to play the entire piano brings out colors and textures in the music that are indications of the direction that he would ultimately take in his later improvisations.

Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1986

Pianism
Premier album de la période Blue Note du pianiste, Pianism se révélera, avec le temps, comme étant l'un des plus beaux disques de Michel Petrucciani. En compagnie du contrebassiste Palle Danielsson et du batteur Elliot Zigmund (avant-dernier batteur du Bill Evans Trio), il trace une voie claire et amusée entre virtuosité et poésie, sacrifiant quelques standards ("Night And Day", "Here's That Rainy Day") pour mieux les rhabiller à sa manière. Si vous ne deviez posséder qu'un seul disque de Petrucciani, le voici.
--Eric Frank

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



"Pianism" [which means the technique or execution of piano playing] was recorded after this group had finished a 6-week, 32-concert tour and Michel, Palle and Eliot approached the recording session as just another gig on the tour.

This superior trio outing features explorations of four of Petrucciani's tunes, "Night and Day," and "Here's That Rainy Day."

Invariably at this point in Michel's development as a Jazz pianist, the question of the continuing influence of Bill Evans is raised and on Pianism, it does show through both in the nearly equal roles played by the instruments and in the manner in which Michel voices many of his chords.

Yet there is also ample evidence on this recording of Michel beginning to find his own way of incorporating the "Bill Evans influence" into a dramatically and forcefully evolving style of his own.
To hear a very specific example of this stylistic transition in the making, compare Michel's scorching treatment of "Night and Day", in which he puts on a dazzling display of "pianism," with the searching and tentative version offered by Evans of this song on the Everybody Digs Bill Evans, his second date for Riverside.

Of course, Evans was still in the process of discovering his system of voicings on his version of the Cole Porter classic whereas Michel comes to this system 30 years later with it available as a fully developed basis for harmonic substitutions while playing this tune. Nevertheless, more and more, throughout "The Blue Note Years," one can discern the advent of Michel's unique Jazz voice.

Another aspect of the importance about Pianism in Michel's artistic development is that it introduced him to the role of a different kind of Producer, in this case, Mike Berniker, whom Michel had not met in-person prior to this recording.

As he explains in the insert notes that Mort Goode compiled and wrote for the recording:
"I want to give special credit to Mike. I didn't really know what a 'producer' was. It's not a clearly defined term.

When I finally met him it was interesting to see how much he helped me out and helped the band out. Really helped. Mike had critiqued my previous albums and had given me his reaction. He nailed me good, telling me I seemed to be playing too much for myself [the conceit that sometimes creeps into solo piano recordings?], giving him the impression I might be bored with playing the same things over and over again.

When we started working together he helped change something in my playing by his attitude. He's the only one that could tell me what I had to do, the only one who said: 'Maybe if you do it that way you can reach another step, another level.' He was the only one able to do that.

I never could analyze my own playing. Though I know hundreds of critics, etc., no one has ever told me what to change. He did. He opened my eyes, as a producer really should.

Something magic happened on this album. There's definitely a new step in my playing, because of his guidance and because of my playing so long and touring with the band. It's different from all the albums that I made before. Maturity is normal, expected, if you are a creative artist - the change from day to day. But it usually isn't this radical, this apparent."

Michel is a two-handed pianist, that is to say, he uses both hands while improvising instead of playing an occasional chord or interval with his left-hand to form an accompaniment for horn-like figures being played in his right-hand.
He has the technical ability to carry this two-handedness even further by employing improvisations with both hands at the same time or even using both hands to play two different tunes or even two different time signatures simultaneously.

Michel has a special way of practicing that helps in achieving this skill that he described to Mort Goode in the insert notes to Pianism as follows:
"I play a song with my left hand in the original key. Let's say it's in 'C.' My right hand plays the same song a half-step higher in 'C sharp.' Then I improvise on 'C sharp' and comp [accompany myself] in the original key so it sounds like a kind of study. It sounds terrible. It's wrong but interesting, because when you change melodies it's completely different. That teaches me to have two different brains, to keep my hand actions separate.

My technique goes where my mind would like to go. Sometimes I don't have the mental agility to get there. That's why I'm an instrumentalist. That tool (the piano) helps me go further than my mind might go. This practice helps me reach there."

Incidentally, Mort was to later discover that Art Tatum also practiced by playing a half-tone higher in his right hand than he was in his left hand. It is doubtful that many others Jazz pianists would have the discipline and the perseverance to practice in this manner.
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1987

Power Of Three
Lorsque les amateurs décident d'écouter leur idole, ils choisissent en général le solo ou le trio. Avec cet album, ils se savent comblés. Power Of Three présente le pianiste en compagnie du saxophoniste Wayne Shorter et du discret et précieux guitariste Jim Hall. Des thèmes en pagaille (dont le magnifique "Bimini") pour un disque qui est devenu, au fil du temps, une référence du jazz en trio.
--Eric Frank

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



In 1986, Blue Note released Power of Three [CDP7 46427 2] that featured Wayne Shorter on soprano and tenor saxophones and Jim Hall on guitar. The recording was made from this group's appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Shorter appears on three of the seven tracks, but the duets between Michel and Jim Hall are what make this recording special. The idea to perform at Montreux grew out of a concert Petrucciani and Hall had done together in Paris the previous December, 1985.

On this recording, the duo pairing of Hall and Petrucciani on "Careful" and "Waltz New" both written by the former and Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood," also harkened back to the Bill Evans/Jim Hall Intermodulation collaboration on Verve [833 771-2].

But as Fernando Gonzales points out in the following excerpt from his insert notes, more and more, even in this context, Michel is becoming his own man:
"He... [is] a romantic with a taste for lush voicings, high-drama soloing and bouts of introspection, while steadily refining and nuturing a rhythmic vigor and flair for melodic invention and forceful bass lines that contribute in setting him apart."

Throughout his career, Michel was constantly altering his musical settings; this was particularly true of his choice of bassists and drummers. In general, he simply enjoyed playing with as many good musicians as possible. Since his preferred group format was a piano, bass and drums trio, one way to enhance the development of his own style of Jazz piano was to play with a wide variety of bassists and drummers.

As Michel commented to Mort Goode:
"I don't want to get too intellectual about my music. My philosophy is quite simple. For one thing - too much intellectualizing is boring. Too much comedy is boring. Too much of anything is boring. We all need to know when to get off, to simply stop."
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1988

Blue Note

Tackling his own material, with nary a vintage standard within earshot, Petrucciani combines his assertive, driving, mainstream piano with two different trios on two separate occasions. The first half of the program features the hard-swinging combination of bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Roy Haynes, augmented on "One For Us" by the slightly withdrawn guitar of John Abercrombie. The second half finds bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Al Foster providing somewhat smoother, perhaps more conventional support, occasionally with a Latin twinge, and Abercrombie and percussionist Steve Thornton sit in on one number apiece. Petrucciani's compositions are certainly worthy pieces, but as always, the pianist's direct, intelligently probing solos leave the source material way behind; he's an improviser through and through.

Quelle: http://www.jazzmanrecords.com/micplaypet.html



Das frühe Blue Note-Album Michel Plays Petrucciani ist zur Hälfte bepackt mit Paradestücken, von denen zwei zu Petruccianis persönlichen Lieblingen gehörten: "She Did It Again", eine Art Boogie-Shuffle, und der lyrische Sonnengesang "It's A Dance". Petruccianis Kompositionen leben vom kreativen Geistesblitz und von kraftvoller melodischer Substanz. Verschwenderisch hat er für diese Aufnahme gleich zwei Rhythmusgruppen aus der Meisterklasse engagiert, die sich das kammermusikalische Vergnügen teilen: Gary Peacock (Bass) -- Roy Haines (Drums) und Eddie Gomez (Bass) -- Al Foster (Drums). Besonderen Charme haben die subtilen Konversationen zwischen Roy Haines und Michel Petrucciani. In zärtlichem Flirt tänzelt der Schlagzeuger vor seinem Klaviator auf und ab und umschmeichelt ihn mit eleganten rhythmischen Akzenten. Zwei Kompositionen mit dem elektrisch verstärkten John Abercrombie (Gitarre) als Solist frischen das akustische Klangbild auf und sorgen für eine zusätzliche Brise ins Moderne. Petrucciani selbst präsentiert sich in der Phase des Mainstream-Eroberers, ähnlich dem jungen Keith Jarrett, verspielt, technisch versiert, inhaltlich noch nicht so komprimiert und zielsicher wie in späteren Jahren, aber auf dem besten Wege dahin!
--Katharina Lohmann

Quelle: http://www.amazon.de/



In step with the mantra of change and variety, Michel Plays Petrucciani released on Blue Note in 1987 [CDP 7 48679 2] finds him in the company of two rhythm sections involving Gary Peacock on bass with Roy Haynes on five tracks and Eddie Gomez with Al Foster on drums on the remaining four. Guitarist John Abercrombie bexomes an additional 'voice' on two cuts with Steve Thornton adding percussion on Michel's beautiful "Brazilian Suite."

In many ways, this is a breakthrough album for Michel in terms of the evolution of his own approach to Jazz piano for with, and perhaps because of, the concentration of original compositions and because the Evans-Jarrett-Tyner influences are hardly discernible [even with the presence of Peacock and Gomez, two of Bill Evans' former bassists on the album].

From the enchanting, "She Did It Again," to the somber ballads "13th" and "La Champagne" to the up tempo romps "One for Us" and "Mr. K.J.," this recording is an expression of Petrucciani's Jazz conception.

And what an conception: improvisational ideas that seem to flow limitlessly, punctuated by a forceful attack and encapsulated in a variety of constantly changing tempos and rhythmic displacements.

With Michel Plays Petrucciani, Jazz is not only Whitney Balliet's "Sound of Surprise," it is becomes The Sound of the Never Heard Before.
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1989

Music
Lors de sa parution en 1989, ce disque fut une véritable surprise. Michel Petrucciani qui nous avait jusque-là habitué à des albums résolument acoustiques adoptait le synthétiseur, s'ouvrait à des rythmes exotiques, à une musique beaucoup plus colorée que le jazz moderne qui l'avait fait connaître. Vivant alors à New York, Michel s'était laissé séduire par cette ville en effervescence où les peuples se mélangent, les musiques se croisent pour mieux se rejoindre. Dans Music, la sensibilité toute européenne d'un piano romantique rencontre ainsi d'autres cultures au sein d'une musique ouverte, un jazz en prise directe avec son temps, Michel nous proposant des mélodies chantantes traduisant son lyrisme. "Lullaby", "Play Me" et "Looking Up", sa composition la plus jouée, sont des thèmes paisibles et lumineux qui bénéficient d'orchestrations très soignées, chaque morceau possédant une instrumentation propre afin d'instaurer une plus grande variété de climats, le Steinway de Michel restant au coeur de sa très belle musique.
--Pierre de Chocqueuse

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



Noel Balen
Ich muss zu meiner Schande gestehen, dass beim lesen der Namen, die mit an diesem Album gearbeitet haben, ich befürchtet habe, dass Michel Petrucciani sich den Anforderungen des Marktes unterworfen und eine mehr kommerzielle Musik angeboten hat. Sein Klavierspiel ist präziser und klarer geworden. Geladen mit einer Emotion die man aus Scham versucht zurückzuhalten, um seine Gefühle nicht bloß zu stellen. Die Auswahl den Künstler ist scharfsinnig, die Themen tadellos. Es ist einfach perfekt. Mit der Gefahr, dass wir die anderen von uns ausgewählten Künstler kränken sollten: Sollten Sie diesen Monat auch nur eine Platte kaufen, dann diese.

Pierre De Chocqueuse
Manche werden sich die Haare aus dem Kopf reißen beim lesen der Information auf dieser Platte. So viele Synthesizer. Aber, keine Angst. Michel bietet uns hier ein großartiges Klavieralbum. Es zeigt seine Reife, seinen eigenen persönlichen Stil. Wie könnte man nicht fiebern bei diesem Erbe von Bill Evans, dieses Klavierspiel, dieses perfekte Gleichgewicht zwischen Rhythmus und Harmonie? Michel, diese Platte ist ein Geschenk... Danke.

Francois Lacharme

Es ist nicht notwendig die mächtige Lyrik dieses Künstlers mit brasilianischer zu vergleichen. Seinen Ausdruck lässt nicht nur Exotik aufleben, aber gibt seine mediterrane Gestik und seine Großzügigkeit wieder. Für diesen Künstler bedeutet jede Note eine Tarnung der Hoffnungslosigkeit. Zum Glück gibt es sehr viele dieser Noten.



Der Umzug nach New York und die neue Freundin (bald übrigens Mrs. Petrucciani) taten dem zwergwüchsigen Tastenhexer mit den Zauberfingern spürbar gut. Mit "Music" legt er jedenfalls eine Aufnahme vor, die sich von seinen Bebop-orientierten früheren Scheiben durch das Interesse an Latin-Percussion und -Sounds unterscheidet. Und selbst in den Balladen, denen naturgemäß ein Hang zur Melancholie eigen ist, glänzt Michel Petruccianis Spiel durch spürbare Lebensfreude. Stattlich ist die Liste der Begleiter: Miles-Davis-Keyboarder Adam Holzmann sorgt für äußerst geschmackvolle Synthie-Sounds, Tania Maria arrangierte die Percussion- Parts, Eddie Gomez und Lenny White heizen den Rhythmus an, und über allem thront Petruccianis Steinway. Gleich der erste Titel "Looking Up" läßt aufhorchen: Die Melodie verzaubert sogleich. Es folgen weitere Perlen (plus auf CD zwei Bonus-Stücke). Ein treffendes Beispiel für den "neuen" Petrucciani ist "Memories Of Paris": Die verträumte Ballade fängt bewundernswert dicht die Stimmung eines Pariser Herbsttages ein. Wer sich auf die Bilder einläßt, erlebt einen Spaziergang durch die Seine- Metropole, die dem Pianisten so lange Heimat war. Eloquent, doch nie geschwätzig erzählt er seine Geschichten, mit Witz und kleinen Anekdoten, mal schneller, mal langsamer, aber immer so, wie es gute Geschichtenerzähler zu tun pflegen: mit Liebe.
© Stereoplay
Quelle: http://www.amazon.de/



The Blue Note voyages of musical discovery were to continue, albeit headed in a markedly different direction, with the 1989 release of Music [CDP 7 92563 2]. This album would introduce Michel's involvement with electronic keyboards and synthesizer and a collaboration with Adam Holzman [synthesizer] and Robbie Kondor [synthesizer programming] that would continue on the 1991 Live [0777 7 80589 2 2] and also in 1991 with Playground [CDP 7 95480 2].

For musicians of Michel's generation, electronic instruments and the ever-present "synths" were musical facts-of-life and something that one eventually tried one's hand at. To his credit, his use of both never get in the way and are used to create unique musical environments and to complement what Michel is trying to achieve in expressing his music.
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1991

Playground
Dernier album de Michel Petrucciani pour le label Blue Note, Playground ressemble à un feu d'artifice. On déniche quelques thèmes savoureux ("September Song", "Miles Davis Licks", "Home"...) interprétés en compagnie de musiciens de choix (citons Anthony Jackson, Omar Hakim ou Adam Holzman). De la belle musique jazz, moderne et très travaillée. On est loin de l'improvisation, mais Petrucciani excelle dans ce style avec un tel bonheur...
--Eric Frank

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



1993

Best Of Michel Petrucciani
Amazon.com
French pianist Michel Petrucciani's combination of rhythmic energy and inspired invention is heard here in several settings recorded between the mid 1980s and early 1990s. While Petrucciani can be an arresting interpreter of the standard repertoire, the emphasis here is on his original compositions, many making use of Latin rhythms and deceptively simple melodies. During this period, Petrucciani shifted his orientation from straight-ahead acoustic trios to use of electronic keyboards and additional percussion for a cooler, more layered approach. Listeners will likely make a rapid decision about which style they prefer, but what Petrucciani loses in drama with the expanded groups, he makes up in sustained and textured complexity. The highlight of the CD is the Caribbean-flavored "Bimini," heard in an extended performance from the 1986 Montreux festival with guitarist Jim Hall and Wayne Shorter on tenor.
--Stuart Broomer



1993

Promenade With Duke
Michel Petrucciani a toujours aimé jouer en petites formations (le duo et le trio lui vont comme un gant) et en solo. En effet, c'est là que le lyrisme de son jeu délicat hérité de Bill Evans s'exprime avec le plus de clarté. D'une vélocité proprement époustouflante, son attaque franche du piano n'empêche pas la subtilité, loin de là. Séduisant par son romantisme sans niaiserie, Promenade With Duke marque son retour au solo (il s'était auparavant exprimé en compagnie des grands rythmiciens Eddie Gomez, Gary Peacock, Roy Haynes) pour un émouvant hommage à Duke Ellington. "Caravan", "Lush Life", "Take The A Train", "Satin Doll", etc., les standards sont choisis avec un goût exquis, et l'interprétation, qui traduit la passion de Michel Petrucciani pour la mélodie, est... superlative !
--Hervé Comte

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



Kraftvoll, bestimmt, hart, dynamisch, zielgerichtet und zielsicher -- Michel Petruccianis Anschlag am Klavier erkennt man auch im Dunkeln. Überhaupt alle musikalischen Parameter führen bei Promenade With Duke unweigerlich zum Ziel: ganz nah an den Flügel heran, wo das Orchester sitzt und in vertrauter Manier die Tasten antreibt. Ein Petrucciani mit allem drum und dran. Alles hört er im voraus und seine nimmer endenden Ideen reihen sich wie fallende Dominosteine aneinander. Ein Credo für die Melodie, eine Hommage an die harmonische Konsonanz, ein Feuerwerk an Leidenschaftlichkeit, vom ersten bis zum letzten Ton -- ein 48-minütiges Gewitter. Nur die Kompositionen sind diesmal nicht die eigenen, sondern die des großen Vorbilds, Sir Duke Ellington. Kein Hindernis, sondern ein gefundenes Fressen für Petruccianis Arrangierkünste, den Franzosen verbindet sowieso eine Seelenverwandtschaft mit dem Duke. Nur die Zartheit fehlt ihm halt ein bisschen: "Lush Life" schreitet königlich daher anstatt melancholisch, und "In A Sentimental Mood" ist zwar luftig und elegant, aber eben nicht so recht sentimental...
--Katharina Lohmann

Quelle: http://www.amazon.de/



Amazon.com
While 1999's Ellington centenary launched a number of new tributes, homages to Duke have been appearing regularly since the '50s, as different generations of musicians explored his repertoire. The French pianist Michel Petrucciani, who died in 1999, recorded this solo exploration in 1993, emphasizing some of the most familiar material. Petrucciani brought all of his immense skill to the project, from driving left-hand rhythms to dancing right-hand runs to the dense harmonic explorations that he could add to a ballad. Petrucciani had a deep sense of swing and a vigorous attack, but it's his unabashed Gallic Romanticism that distinguishes this CD, as he turns each piece into a profound rumination, first immersing himself in a theme, then extending it until it seems to disappear in waves of overlapping emotion. His version of the limpidly beautiful "African Flower" is particularly moving.
--Stuart Broomer



Michel's last effort for Blue Note would be the 1993 issue of Promenade with Duke [0777 7 80590 28] in which he would express his appreciation to the man whose appearance on French television inspired Michel to want to play the piano at age 4.

If you are a fan of Duke Ellington's music and enjoy solo piano, Promenade with Duke is a musical treat not to be missed. His versions of the rarely performed African Flower and One Night in a Hotel alone make this CD a treasure, not to mention his original composition, Hidden Joy, written in an Ellingtonian style.

This recording not only represents the culmination of his time with Blue Note, it also marks a point of departure for a number of aspects of Michel's career, both personal and professional.

Although he would maintain a residence in New York, from 1993 until his death in 1999, he would make his home in his native France once again and it would be the place to which he would return from his world wanderings.

Moreover, while he would continue to tour with a variety of trios, his primary recording and concert emphasis would be solo piano, both of which would be supervised by Francois Dreyfus and recorded on his Paris-based label - DreyfusJazz.
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1994

Marvellous
Eine seltene Knochenkrankheit machte ihn zum Zwerg: Michel Petrucciani mißt kaum einen Meter und wiegt weniger als 30 Kilo. Nur die Hände haben ihre alte Größe behalten. Der kleine Mann hat dies wie einen Wink Gottes aufgenommen und all seine Energie ins Klavierspiel gesteckt - eine Anstrengung, die reiche Früchte trug. Denn längst ist der Franzose auch als Pianist eine außergewöhnliche Erscheinung. Edel-Talker Roger Willemsen ist ein großer Bewunderer von Petruccianis Kunst, und so bat er den Virtuosen, für ein Jahr die musikalische Gestaltung seiner neuen ZDF-Show "Willemsens Woche" zu übernehmen. Wer in dieser Freitagabend-Gesprächsrunde das umwerfende Talent des Pianisten in Kostproben wahrnahm, kann den Genuß nun mit einer CD-Aufnahme vertiefen, die so ist, wie sie heißt, nämlich "Marvellous". Petrucciani stellt hier eine mit allen Wassern gewaschene Rhythmusgruppe (Dave Holland, Baß, und Tony Williams, Drums) den diffizilen Streicherklängen des Graffiti String Quartet gegenüber. Die nicht alltägliche Kombination gibt dem Dirigenten am Klavier die Möglichkeit, ein quasi unendliches Reservoir an Farben, Harmonien und Rhythmen auszuschöpfen. Wie Petrucciani hier temporeich und doch leicht beschwingt, mal humorvoll, mal romantisch-melancholisch durch die Jazzgeschichte eilt und selbst einem kaputtgespielten Standard wie "Besame Mucho" neuen Charme abgewinnt - das ist einfach "Marvellous".
Quelle: http://www.amazon.de/
© Stereoplay



Michel Petrucciani
Marvellous
Musiciens : Michel Petrucciani (p), Dave Holland (b), Tony Williams (dm), Vincent Pagliarin, Nicolas Krassik et Pierre Lemarchand (vln) et Vincent Courtois (cello).
Thèmes : Manhattan, Charlie Brown, Even mice dance, Why, Hidden joy, Shooting stars, You are my waltz, Dumb breaks, 92's last, Besame mucho.
Enregistré : à Paris.
Durée : 45'34".
Référence : Dreyfus Jazz, FDM 36564-2.

Michel Petrucciani revient enregistrer en France et n'oublie pas la note bleue. C'est un blues qui démarre le dernier opus du pianiste. Lancé sur les chapeaux de roues, rondement mené par un Tony Williams en verve, précis et foisonnant à la fois, et un Dave Holland toujours aussi attaché à la qualité de l'harmonie jusque dans les rythmes les plus soutenus. Le décor est posé. Il aurait pu se suffire à lui-même. Mais Michel Petrucciani a le goût de l'aventure. Essais transformés en autant de bonheurs. Séduisant sur Music, il jouait avec les synthétiseurs et nous concoctait quelques mélodies qui, à n'en pas douter, resteront comme des standards. Émouvant, il reprenait récemment d'autres standards en concert, avec la complicité de papa à la guitare ou de Didier Lockwood au violon. Ce dernier lui a-t-il donné le goût des cordes ? Toujours est-il qu'un quatuor est présent sur la majorité des titres de ce disque. Presque convaincant sur le premier thème lorsque sa couleur sonore est utilisée sous forme de riffs, il perd de sa crédibilité sur des titres aux accents plus latins (Charlie Brown) où l'on attendrait plutôt une belle escouade de cuivres. Surtout, ses interventions, sombres enluminures souvent confuses, sont noyées derrière le jeu plein, présent, puissant du pianiste et de ses acolytes. Ce pur joyau de cristal qu'est l'introduction de " Hidden Joy " en est un bel exemple. Et l'on ne sait finalement s'il faut incriminer les arrangements, la prise de son, le mixage ou l'idée même de cette étrange fusion. Existe-t-il une seule expérience musicalement aboutie de jazzmen exploitant les richesses du quatuor à cordes ? " Besame Mucho " pourrait le laisser supposer avec ses langueurs exacerbées et ses dissonances apprivoisées. Mais à l'écoute des chorus où le trio reprend ses droits, on se plaît plutôt à imaginer un autre bel enregistrement avec, uniquement, cette rythmique de rêve.

Pascal Kober

Quelle: http://perso.orange.fr/pascal.kober/031chroniques/petrucciani.htm



1994

Live
En 1993, Michel Petrucciani quitte le prestigieux label Blue Note pour Dreyfus Jazz. Après un couple d'albums, il se produit en concert au Théâtre des Champs-Élysées l'année suivante. Ce récital lui semble tellement convaincant qu'il décide de le faire publier. En effet, on retrouve ici un Petrucciani lumineux, à la fois compositeur doué et musicien respectueux des standards qu'il interprète avec délice. Un grand moment rejoignant son très bon "live" de 1991 chez Blue Note.
--Eric Frank

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



Das ist mal 'was Leckeres: Michel Petrucciani live auf elektrischem Terrain! Aber halt, nicht ganz: Er selbst bleibt wohlgemerkt und konventionsgetreu bei seinem Klavier (oder was man im Angesicht eines dezent schepprigen Anklanges dafür halten mag), die Kunststofftasten überläßt er dem Kollegen Adam Holzman. Der darf sich um Sounds bemühen und selbige sparsam aber geschmackvoll im Metzer Arsenal (Frankreich) ausbreiten. Wären sie nur ein bißchen zeitgemäßer, die Sounds -- aber man kann nicht alles haben. Eine wunderbare Rhythmusgruppe untermalt des Maestros streng tonale Phantasien: Steve Logan greift in einen brummig warmen E-Baß und plaudert dabei mit dem hochkonzentrierten Victor Jones am Schlagzeug. Auch nicht optimal abgenommen, das Schlagzeug, entscheidend sind aber vielmehr Jones eigenwilliger Stil und sein ausgesprochen sensibles Gespür für Petruccianis Richtungswechsel und Akzente. Überhaupt bleibt Petrucciani ganz Herr der Lage bei diesem Unterfangen: die Themen und auch die Soli gehören ihm allein -- die anderen läßt er höchstens kurz mal 'ran.
Interessant sind auf diesem Album vor allem die Stücke, die hörbar für ein elektrisches Ambiente komponiert wurden. Da klingen auch Petruccianis Improvisationen plötzlich ein bißchen moderner und die Themen räumlicher als sonst. Es ist aber auch etliches aus dem Akustik-Jazz-Repertoire adaptiert und das wird auch so gehandhabt: ohne Keyboard, im Trio oder, wenn es brasilianisch wird, zusätzlich mit Percussion.
--Katharina Lohmann

Quelle: http://www.amazon.de/



1994

Conférence de presse

Reviews:
"world-class improvising"
-- Los Angeles Times by Don Heckman

"Conference de Presse is as sumptuous and beguiling a jazz recording as I've heard in a while."
-- CD Review by Tom Krehbiel

"This one really cooks."
-- Denver Post by Jeff Bradley

"Fifty million Frenchmen weren't wrong. Voted Jazz Album of the year in France, this extraordinary and perhaps unprecedented duet is easily the sleeper jazz disc of the year."
-- Buffalo News

"An exhilirating illustration of the joyous qualities of jazz at its finest."
-- Los Angeles Times by Don Heckman

"sparkling."
-- Gavin Jazz

"uncanny chemistry."
-- Jazz Times by Bill Milkowski

"A perfect lesson in what jazz is supposed to be about."
-- CD Review by Tom Krehbiel

"Their music has the innate connections of a pair of fraternal twins."
-- Los Angeles Times by Don Heckman




Dreyfus' associate producer Yves Chamberland explains the evolution of the recording Conference de Presse [Dreyfus FDM 36568-2]:
"For 35 years now, Eddy Louiss has been leading a very personal musical career, always with his own band and perhaps without ever working with other great jazzmen, apart from Stan Getz.

So on the night of August 11, 1988, when Andre' Damon had the idea of programming a duo with Michel Petrucciani, the results were beyond his wildest dreams. The two great musicians met at the "Petit Journal Montparnasse;" picture the scene of a jam-packed hall, an oppressive heat and almost 300 disappointed people crowding at the door.

From then on, Francis Dreyfus and myself had an obsession and that was to repeat that extraordinary experience.

But traveling all over the world, Michel Petrucciani was always very busy. In July 1993 however, Michel and Eddy finally got together at the Montreux Festival for a "Dreyfus Night." And in the sumptuous "Summertime" that they played, the obvious complicity of the two great artists could be felt from the start.

The expected meeting finally took place on May 31, 1994, at the Maison de la Radio, in front of an attentive public of friends, musicians, artists and specialized journalists from all media.

After such a warm an enthusiastic welcome from all participants, Eddy and Michel wanted to keep track of their collaboration, which was recorded over three magical nights at the Petit Journal Montparnasse on June 14, 15, and 16, 1994."

This recording finds both musicians inspiring one another and, at the same time, at their playful best. I, for one, never knew that Eddy Louiss could play the Hammond B-3 Organ so well, but the technical and creative display that he puts forth on this unwieldy instrument during this concert leaves no doubt that he is one of its major practitioners.

Michel sounds so loose and takes so many risks on Miles' "So What" that you can audibly 'hear' people in the audience holding their collective breadths wondering if he's going to escape from some of his single-line excursions or end up in a "train wreck."

Either through diversions into stop time, key modulations or playing bass lines [very respectfully] behind one another's solos, Eddy and Michel inspire one another into a series of playful romps through standards such as "All the Things You Are" and [a rarely played at a medium tempo version of] "These Foolish Thing ," as well as, originals including Michel's "Simply Bop" and Louiss' Les "Grelots" [Michel would play this tune in many of his later solo piano concerts].

The wait was worth it as this is simply put, a brilliant pairing of two of France's most stellar Jazz musicians.

Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1995

Conférence de presse
Un disque extraordinaire comme il en existe peu dans l' histoire du Jazz. Il s' est passé à Paris quelque chose de miraculeux entre le 14 et le 16 Juin 1994 au Petit Journal Montparnasse : Eddy Louiss en compagnie de Michel Petrucciani. Un duo à couper le souffle. Deux êtres qui en sont arrivés à une extrême complicité. A l' écoute de ce CD de rêve, on ne peut que se retrouver plongé dans la salle au sein du public dans la chaleur communicative d'une rare alchimie musicale, et cela dès le début du premier morceau. Un paroxysme est atteint lors de l' improvisation du pianiste aux mains de géant sur " These Foolish Things ", au cours de laquelle l' audience ne peut contenir un énorme débordement d' enthousiasme. Eddy Louiss aux commandes de son Hammond est prodigieux, il en a l' habitude : un superbe phrasé porté par un son mêlant la douceur du velours à une percussion rêglée avec tout le soin qu' il sait y apporter, et la présence un peu lointaine de ce chant aigu reconnaissable entre tous. Sa profonde sensibilité chevillée au coeur, il met tout son art au service de son compère et le lance sur les rails de ses lignes de basses, tout en soutenant par ses accords sans faille les variations harmoniques des différentes compositions. Qui donc pourrait ne pas se laisser porter par un tel maelstrom ? La présence palpable de la bête aux roues phoniques évoque celle du fauve à la puissance contenue, mais toujours prêt à bondir à chaque instant. Standards et thèmes de toute beauté se succèdent, autant de la main de Monsieur Eddy Louiss ( Les Grelots/Amesha ) que de celle de Monsieur Michel Petrucciani ( I Wrote You A Song/Simply Bop ). Quel disque ! La touchante photo de couverture en noir et blanc reflète à merveille l' émotion et le bonheur éprouvés par les deux amis à être ensemble. A écouter inlassablement, ainsi que " Conférence de presse Vol. 2 ", histoire de prolonger le plaisir.

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, in 1995 Dreyfus Conference de Presse Volume 2 [Dreyfus FDM 36573-2]. This recording contains a version of "Summertime," the playing of which at Montreux in 1993 reinspired Eddy and Michel to perform together again, but the price of admission for this recording is worth it for its wondrously breath-taking version of "Autumn Leaves."

Also of particular note [no pun intended] on Volume 2 is another version of Michel's continuing love affair with Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington's Caravan. Having made its first appearance in the Petrucciani repertoire on the Blue Note Promenade with Duke album, in this version, Michel introduces the tune with more pronounced the Middle Eastern tonalities and rhythmic motifs giving one the impression that the camels are just arriving in Cairo after their trek via The Silk Road.

About three minutes into the tune, he launches into a dazzlingly display of virtuosity with an single-line invention that spans a full chorus without a pause and leaves the listener with the impression that even-though-I-just-heard-it-with-my-own-ears-I-still-don't-believe-it! This chorus takes almost a full minute of an 8 minute cut [from 2:56 - 3:56] because Michel ingeniously double-times the tempo so as to make the 32-bars of the song sound like 64-bars.

Guitarist John Stowell offers the following annotation about Caravan, a standard A-A-B-A tune usually played in G Minor: "The melody of "Caravan" has a lot of chromaticism that makes it fun to play. And because the A section is composed of only two chords, there are lots of possibilities for embellishments and extensions of the basic harmony. The tune is often played at a very bright tempo but also has some real charm taken slowly."

And the bridge of "B" section is so much fun for musicians to play on because its harmonic progression uses a "circle of fifths" in an almost identical fashion with that of "Sweet Georgia Brown."

Notably, Michel originals on these and subsequent recordings would henceforth be available on Michel's ASCAP-approved music publishing house which he named "Mike P. Publishing" in honor of the nickname that Bill Evans had suggested for him!

These albums are easily overlooked by those exploring the Petrucciani 'canon' and the fact that Conference de Presse Vol. 2 does not appear to have been released in the United States does not help matters in this regard [it was still available on the Amazon France site as of this writing].
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1995

Au Théâtre Des Champs-Elysées
Disques Dreyfus
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

there's a voicing pianist Michel Petrucciani got stuck on in his 1994 concert at Paris' Théâtre Champs-Elysées that sets my teeth to grinding. They're ordinary stacks of notes, really, with note doublings smushed out to the far edges of the chords. But they're clumsy and inelegant chords, the way the centers are hollowed out, the way they assert clashing tonalities without giving you a reason to embrace the ways the notes meet -- an unexpected stretch of gravel on a superhighway.
The live recording of the Paris concert is one of Petrucciani's usual mixes of standards and original musings. Often the two are one and the same. Most of the first disc of this two-CD set is filled with a 40-minute "Medley of My Favorite Songs" in which he threads through tunes by Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, Rodgers and Hart and a generous assortment of genre pieces. While there's nothing startlingly new here, Petrucciani reaches often enough for the unexpected and unconventional that the familiar material sounds fresh. And some of the technical feats are nothing less than breathtaking.
Anyone who writes about Petrucciani can't help but note the influences of Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner; the Evans voicings and sensibilities are sometimes so baldfacedly direct they're spooky. But no phrase is allowed to get too comfortably familiar, because Petrucciani inevitably swerves sideways with an odd chord choice or a flash of unexpected notes, serving a crucial function -- he pays off his influences but never lets you forget he's the one calling the shots. Embedded in the elegance and polish of these arrangements are the hues of a less smooth existence.
Petrucciani sometimes presses out his melodies -- even the more reflective of them -- with an insistence that can be off-putting after a while. But then he'll rev up the tempo and set up an awesome counterpoint of voices so flawless and crystalline that you hear the tonal links between slow and fast.
A great moment comes in a set of variations on the second disc's "Even Mice Dance/Caravan." He improvises off the "Caravan" tune, getting denser and denser, until he's slapping away at clusters of notes that only resemble the general shape of the melody. Just when the whole thing collapses into swarming incoherence, he suddenly pulls back and recaptures control with a simple rhythmic figure. "Love Letter," the piece that immediately follows, is offered almost as an antidote, tender and embracing, with nary a hard edge in sight.
All of which is to say that Petrucciani understands that having ugly in your pocket helps you appreciate beauty; that blowing cacophony allows for the possibility of retrospection; and that the awkward voicing of a chord is the perfect frame for a smooth center.

June 18, 1997
-- Doug McLennan
Doug McLennan is a regular contributor to Salon.

Quelle: http://www.salon.com/june97/sharps/sharps970618.html


michel petrucciani.
live at the theatre champs elysées.

Ich habe zwei Jahre bei "Willemsens Woche" (ZDF) gearbeitet, bin da aber kaum mit Michel in Berührung gekommen: Freitagslivehektik und all der überhitzte Scheiß.Aaaaaber: Ich war bei dem Konzert in Paris, das diese CD enthält (ohne zu ahnen, daß sowas geplant ist): 14. November 1994. Ich behaupte ja immer noch, daß ich einen der Huster fabriziert habe, die darauf zu hören sind, aber: Mir glaubt ja mal wieder keiner.Ich will jetzt nicht sentimental werden, aber: Wer dabei war, vergißt alle Kritikerpapstdebatten, ob das nun viertel-, halb- oder vollwertiger Jazz ist. Die Freude dieses Mannes füllte diesen ehrwürdigen Pariser Theatersaal bis in alle Ritzen aus. Eine Bombendrohung auf dem Flughafen Charles de Gaulle rundete den gelungenen Anderthalbtageausflug ab. Michel Petrucciani, glasknochenkrank, ist im Januar 1998 gestorben. Ich reiste damals gerade durch Amerika, war traurig, habe mich dann aber über einen sehr langen und sehr aufrichtigen Nachruf in der New York Times gefreut.

Quelle: http://sofa.digitalien.org/sieben/7boecker/cds.html



Yet, still in 1995, the motivated and sensitive Dreyfus team, now expanded to include in addition to Francois Davis and Yves Chamberland, Francois' wife Helene, an enduring friendship with Bernard Benguigui and The Steinway Piano Company with Michel's personal piano technician, Pascal Bertonneau, if you will, the Petrucciani entourage, Dreyfus Records issued the seminal solo piano recording - Michel Petrucciani Au Theatre Des Champs-Elysees [FDM 36570-2].

If ever there was a celebration of French Jazz in the last decade of the 20th century, it is proclaimed on these two recordings whose improvisations are brimming with inventiveness, skill and wit.

Another packed house greeted Michel at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees on November 14, 1994 and the concert he gave on that night was critically acclaimed by all the press in attendance. Listening to the music on this double disc, it's easy to understand why, as genius and greatness was on display that night.

As first presented on the Potpourri track on his American debut Concord album - 100 Hearts - Michel continued to favor solo piano recitals arranged as medleys and the one on Michel Petrucciani Au Theatre Des Champs-Elysees is a 40 minute plus non-stop, breath-taking, tour de force entitled "Medley of My Favorite Songs."

It includes, in order of performance, "Maiden Voyage," "My Funny Valentine," "Rachid" [an original named after his adopted son], "Les Grelots" [I guess he enjoyed playing on it so much the previous year with Eddy Louiss that he incorporated into this edition of 'favorites'], "In A Sentimental Mood," "Autumn Leaves," and culminates in a technically stunning version of "Take the 'A' Train" whose interpretation - replete with a rumbling train wreck - would have been the pride of any stride pianist!

In The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, its authors, Richard Cook and Brian Morton commenting Michel Petrucciani Au Theatre Des Champs-Elysees offer the following review:
"The opening 'Medley of My Favorite Songs' might be a quintessential Petrucciani performance, 40 unbroken minutes of a piano master in full flow, lightning flashes of humor illuminating an otherwise seamless sequence. Maybe he will never capture the effortless excitement of the early discs, and to that extent the energy of his playing is mitigated somewhat by his sense of proportion; but there's a great deal to enjoy across these two discs: a lovely, thoughtful 'Night Sun in Blois' [which would be expanded later into a 3-part suite], a finger busting Monk medley, and a beautifully distilled 'Besame Mucho' to close on.

A highlight of this concert is how Michel juxtaposes a tempo-run-riot playing of Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You," with a dramatic and poignant interpretation of Monk's "'Round Midnight."

His manner of combining these two tunes may be a way of saying to the listener, I, too, find it amazing that the same composer could have penned these startlingly different tunes, but when played this way, can't you hear Monk in both?

As was to be the case with "Caravan," "Besame Mucho" would become a frequently recurring part of Michel repertoire. Reviewer Ken Dryden commented in AllMusic about Michel's playing of this piece that the Champs-Elysees "... two-CD set closes with a dazzling rendition of Besame Mucho, which he restores to grace by bringing out the lyricism of this very sad ballad, which is often destroyed when played by less talented musicians."
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1996

-CD des Monats (5/96)
Stéphane Grappelli, Michel Petrucciani: Flamingo
Daß die Musik eines gealterten Künstlers sanfter oszilliere und jugendliche Spannungen, Gegensätze und andere "Unausgegorenheiten" einer wie auch immer gearteten Abgeklärtheit oder zeitlosen Klassizität weichen, wird fast wie ein Naturgesetz erwartet. Wenig scheint sich Stéphane Grappelli in den letzten zwanzig Jahren geändert zu haben - und doch: Der Ton des Siebenundachtzigjährigen ist heute weicher, doch nicht mehr ganz so süßlich wie früher, eine leicht "kratzige" Komponente hat sich eingeschlichen. Der Einsatz seiner Mittel ist ökonomischer: Bekannte Themen werden nicht gleich verspielt umspielt und verziert, der hysterische Sturm-und-Drang seiner Up-tempo-Läufe hat sich gemäßigt, Balladen erscheinen entspannter und essentieller. Und ohne daß er auf die üblichen Girlanden, Arabesken und Ranken verzichtet, sind die Improvisationen kürzer: Da fällt weniger auf, daß die Erstarrung besonders effektvoller Phrasen zum Klischee im Alter zunimmt, das Überraschungsmoment bei Grappelli-Alben abnimmt.
Nun hat aber der alternde Grappelli immer wieder die Nähe zu modernen Pianostilisten wie Peterson, Solal, Tyner oder Roland Hanna gesucht - Individualisten die den Grandseigneur aus den so wunderbar eingefahrenen Gleisen herauslocken. Nicht daß er bei den Modernen von seinem zeitlosen Stil abkäme (er war vor vierzig Jahren schon mal boppiger als heute), aber die ungewohnte Umgebung wirkt meist für beide Seiten inspirierend. In eben dieser Hinsicht ist auch die Zusammenarbeit mit Michel Petrucciani ein Glücksfall.
Mit George Mraz steht ihm einer der ganz wenigen Bassisten zur Seite, der auf dem gleichen Niveau streichen kann, und ein so exzellenter Bop-Drummer wie Roy Haynes, der auch dezent swingen kann, saß selten hinter Grappelli. Petrucciani kommt, von Grappellis Altersökonomie angesteckt, mit halb so vielen Noten wie sonst aus. Wie genau sie einander zuhören, ohne sich in den Vordergrund zu spielen! Da kommt es in "I Got Rhythm" zu kontrapunktischen Späßchen zwischen Grappelli und Petrucciani, der selbst typische Triller des Geigers imitiert. Und auf "I Remember April" baut der Pianist seinen Chorus auf dem letzten Motiv des Geigers auf. Nobler, bedachtsamer und essentieller als Grappelli und Petrucciani im Duo kann man den einstigen Bostic-Röhr-Titel "Flamingo" nicht spielen. Freilich, wenn man jenes "Flamingo" im Ohr hat, das Grappelli mit Oscar Peterson einspielte, könnte man auch etwas wehmütig werden; welch virtuoses Feuerwerk legte er noch 1973 in diese Ballade: spritzige Flageoletts, vollmundige Doppelgriffe, Höchstpräzision in stratosphärischen Lagen, treibende Läufe. Das konnte er nie wieder so brillant - Peterson leider auch nicht. "Flamingo" '73 bedeutet vor Spannung die Luft anhalten, "Flamingo" '96 ist ein entspanntes Ausatmen. Heute oszilliert eben alles sanfter.
Marcus A. Woelfle




On June 15th, 16th & 17th, 1995, Michel joined with the legendary Jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli and bassist George Mraz and drummer Roy Haynes at the Studios Davout in Paris to create Flamingo [Dreyfus FDM 36 580-2]. Released in 1997, this is Grappelli's album built largely around standards long associated with him, but I think that Michel's involvement in the project is a reflection of his homecoming to France's Jazz culture.

Authors, Richard Cook and Brian Morton while expressing some surprise at the pairing of these Jazz Giants had this to say about the recording in The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD: "Who would have ever expected to hear Grappelli in company like this? If at first glance it seems a startling engagement, it is immediately clear that these are players ideally suited to his light, swinging approach. ... Rightly, for the most part, they stick to standard material. 'Misty' is the closest it all comes to hokiness, but it is done with such open-hearted delight and lack of self-consciousness that it runs no very serious risks. 'I Can't get Started' and 'I Got Rhythm' between them demonstrate a good change of pace, with Haynes and Petrucciani seeming to dictate the rhythmic course within each track, so that the former has an almost symphonic logic and structure. Very impressive indeed."
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1997

Michel Petrucciani
Both Worlds Dreyfus/Edel Contraire FDM 36590-2
(49 Min., aufgenommen 1997)
Um es zu verallgemeinern: Es gibt Pianisten, die besser spielen, je mehr Musiker beteiligt sind, und solche, deren Tugenden im Kleinformat besser zum Tragen kommen. Tatum, Garner, Evans, Makowicz - wer möchte die schon mit Big Band hören? Auch Michel Petrucciani gehört in diese Kategorie.
Er wirkt hier zwar nur in einem Sextett; aber der Arrangeur Bob Brookmeyerhat bei seiner "Orchestrierung" von Petrucciani-Kompositionen volle Arbeit geleistet: Ohne das dies etwas mit Lautstärke zu tun hätte, beschleicht den Hörer das Gefühl, er habe es mit einem größeren Klangkörper zu tun - selbst wenn nur das Trio spielt. Die gewohnte Intimität und Tiefenauslotung verflüchtigt sich aus Petruccianis Spiel; übrig bleiben pianistische Brillanz und ein platt plätschernder Schönklang, garniert von eher routinierten als inspirierten Kollegen, die Petrucciani (bis auf Brookmeyer) ohnehin nicht das Wasser reichen können. Delikate Höhepunkte wirken so deprimierend wie Sonnenstrahlen, die durch ihre seltene Anwesenheit auf trübe Wolken aufmerksam machen. Wer Petrucciani 1997 begeistert im Konzert gehört hat, kann die Langeweile, die dieses Album verbreitet, kaum fassen.
Marcus A. Woelfle, RONDO 6/97




From Jazziz
When pianist Michel Petrucciani died in January at age 36, the French press heralded him as one of the best French jazz musicians ever. Certainly, with his virtuosic technique and fiery soul, he was one of the Frenchmen to gain the most respect in America. Petrucciani suffered from osteogenesis imperfecta, or "glass bones," which stunted his growth and made him fragile. From time to time, he would even break some of his fingers during an impassioned performance. "Brazilian Like" is a 1997 recording with drummer Steve Gadd, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, bassist Anthony Jackson, trumpeter Flavio Boltro, and saxophonist Stefano Di Battista.
--- JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc.



Trotzdem bleibt Petrucciani der Boß der Gruppe.
Nachdem er die Kunst des Solo-Pianos perfektioniert hatte, stellte er ein Trio mit einer hochkarätigen Rhythmus zusammen - Anthony Jackson (Baß) und Steve Gadd (Schlagzeug) -, die sich nach und nach zum überragenden Sextett weiterentwickelte. Zum ersten Mal hat Michel Petrucciani eine wirklich homogene Band geformt. Auf seiner neuesten CD ist er voll ins Spiel des Ensembles integriert, Spiel und Persönlichkeit sind nicht mehr so dominant, wie es eingeschworene Petrucciani-Fans gewohnt sind. Und erstmals hat der Ausnahme-Pianist seine Werke einem anderen Arrangeur anvertraut: Bob Brookmeyer (Posaune). Drei europäische und drei amerikanische Musiker kamen zusammen und bildeten so musikalische Brücken zwischen den Kontinenten, erzeugten eine Verbindung zwischen Paris und New York. Neben den oben genannten spielen mit: Flavio Boltro (Trompete) und Stefano Di Battista (Saxophon).

Es klingen Melodien von Rodgers & Hart (Petite Louise), Return to Forever (35 Seconds of Music and More), Maurice Chevalier (On Top of the Roof) und aus Hollywood Musicals (Chloé Meets Gershwin recalls A Foggy Day and Johnny Mercer's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) an, kunstvoll verarbeitet und voller Frische. Trotzdem bleibt Petrucciani der Boß der Gruppe. Nur spielerisch bleibt er eher im Hintergrund. Eine CD, die höchsten Hörgenuß bietet.

Quelle: http://hamburg.gay-web.de/kultur/cd/petrucciani.html



Michel was quoted as saying: "I get bored quite easily if I don't change. This need shows even in my daily life. At home, I keep moving the furniture around. It's the same with music. I just have to create constantly."

With this mantra in mind, more change was in the offing as Michel's next album for Dreyfus entitled Both Worlds [FDM 36590-2] would have Michel performing his original compositions with a sextet! Recorded in 1997 and released in mid-1998, it featured two "young lions" from the Italian Jazz scene - Flavio Boltro on trumpet and Stefano Di Battista [a truly monster player] on soprano and alto saxophones - along with Anthony Jackson on bass Steve Gadd on drums. Bob Brookmeyer did the arrangements and participates on valve trombone.

Les Line offered what I consider to be the most comprehensive and perceptive review of the album on http://www.52ndstreet.com/:"I wish I could play 'Chloe Meets Gershwin' for everyone who reads this review, because I guarantee that you'd head for the nearest store, real or cyber, to buy Both Worlds. It's a charming - yes, that the best word - 64 bar composition by the extraordinary French pianist Michel Petrucciani with a whisper of Gershwin's 'A Foggy Day' and Johnny Mercer's 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' and a dollop of West Coast Jazz. The form is unusual with three bridge sections (AABACADA), and the arrangement by valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer is a knockout, especially when the three horns swing the hell out of the song for 48 bars after the soloists have had their way.

'We were striving for the feeling of a group as opposed to a leader-sideman situation,' says the pianist, adding the bands of Oliver Nelson and Art Blakey and the 'Birth of the Cool' sessions under Miles Davis' leadership served as inspiration. 'The rhythm section of Steve Gadd and Anthony Jackson keeps things from feeling old fashion and [provides] an end-of-the-century feel,' he adds.

Both Worlds, as in 'best of both worlds,' refers to the collaboration of composer Petrucciani, who had hoarded his most polished compositions, and arranger Bob Brookmeyer who wrote some of the most advanced pieces played by Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra before moving to Europe and a more eclectic musical life. It is also a rare chance to hear Brookmeyer's mellifluous and immediately identifiable valve trombone stylings.

Before I forget, the rest of Both Worlds is terrific too. Two poets of jazz vocabulary prove that in and Age of Retrobop, there are ways to create something new without resorting to deconstruction or the chaos of the avant-garde."

On Both Worlds, it's great fun to hear Michel's solos coming out of structure unison lines or interposed between riffs as played by the horns. A perfect example of both of these unusual occurrences can be heard on the arrangement of 'Chimes.'

The contrast of Di Batista's explosive solos as compared to more lyrical solos by Michel, the wonderful "in-the -pocket grooves laid down by Jackson and Gadd and Michel 'comping' behind the horn solos are also additional treats made possible by the usual [for Petrucciani] setting.

Ken Dryden, again writing in AllMusic.com, noted: "Seasoned arranger and superb trombonist Bob Brookmeyer makes a major contribution, adding very different shadings than the leader would have chosen."

Both Worlds affords us the chance to hear more of the elegiac beauty of Michel's original composition as framed by Brookmeyer's demanding and attractive arrangements.
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1998

Solo Live
Die Reihen echter Originale im zeitgenössischen Jazz lichten sich zusehends. Der einst von dem Saxophonisten Charles Lloyd entdeckte und als erster Europäer bei "Blue Note" unter Vertrag genommene Petrucciani war ein Pianist mit außergewöhnlich facettenreichem Ausdrucksvermögen. "Ich spiele, was ich liebe!" kommentierte er die unüberhörbaren Einflüsse von Gershwin, Bill Evans sowie von klassischen Romantikern wie Ravel und Debussy auf seine Musik. All dies kumulierte der zeitlebens durch die Glasknochenkrankheit gehandicapte und kleinwüchsige Petrucciani in einzigartiger Weise. "Ich bin eben ein Dieb", offenbarte er lapidar und ehrlich. "Ich bin der Meinung, jeder Musiker schreibt nur ein einziges Stück und variiert dieses mit Versatzstücken, die ihm im Laufe seines Lebens begegnen und gefallen." Mit wieviel Verve und swingendem Humor er das in seinen Solo-Konzerten umzusetzen vermochte, dokumentiert die gerade erschienene Live-Aufnahme aus der "Frankfurter Oper". Zusammen mit der vor Inspiration nur so strotzenden Einspielung aus dem "Théâtre Des Champs-Elysées Paris" vom 14. November 1994 bildet diese Aufnahme das eindrucksvolle Vermächtnis des Solisten Michel Petrucciani, der am 06. Januar erst 36jährig in einem New Yorker Krankenhaus verstarb.

Joachym Ettel / © Intro - Musik & so
Quelle: www.intro.de/




Behinderte sind es gewohnt, daß man sie übersieht, überhört oder allenfalls mit Mitleid streift. Im Fall von Michel Petrucciani jedoch war das nicht mehr möglich. Der Pianist war visuell präsent - auf Plakaten, CD-Covers, in Magazinen und auf Fernsehschirmen -, sein Spiel kurz vor seinem Tod im Januar unüberhörbar und über alles Mitleid erhaben. Die vielen, vielen Fans liebten Petrucciani bedingungslos - nicht trotz oder wegen, sondern unabhängig von seiner Behinderung. Als er vor zwei Jahren dieses Solo-Konzert in Frankfurt gab, muß das wie ein Bad in einem Ozean der Sympathie gewesen sein. Jedenfalls hat der Abend das Allerbeste aus dem großen kleinen Mann herausgekitzelt: nicht die Trance eines Jarrett, nicht die Politur eines Peterson, sondern natürliche, spielerische Virtuosität: Petruccianis linke Hand besitzt swingenden Humor, seine rechte romanischen Charme, und selbst wenn er ein "kleines Stück in C" klimperte, war er bis in seine Knochen hinein ein Vollblut-Bebopper. Osteogenesis imperfecta? Musica perfecta!

© Jazz thing (02/99)- Hans-Jürgen Schaal
Quelle: http://www.jazzthing.de/



Solo Live
By Jim Santella

Recorded in 1997 before a large auditorium audience in Frankfurt, Germany, Michel Petrucciani's solo album offers a good look at his expressive style. The pianist's respect for a melody and unique left-hand accents make his performance both interesting and enjoyable. Born in France with a bone disease, Petrucciani was a child prodigy who learned rapidly and performed in a family jazz band with his father and brothers. Influenced by Bill Evans, Duke Ellington and others, the pianist used a harmonic approach that appeals to most listeners. His professional debut came at age 13 when he appeared with Clark Terry in France. Petrucciani first recorded when he was 16 and moved to the U.S. shortly afterwards. A professional association with saxophonist Charles Lloyd led to three years of live performances and several albums. Sadly, Petrucciani died in January of a pulmonary infection at the age of 36.

Balancing ballads with faster romps, Petrucciani's Solo Live album presents a program that flows from one piece to the next for nearly an hour. His strong right hand and syncopated staccato left hand combine to produce music that seems to have evolved from the tango and its forebears. "Caravan" changes from powerful and dramatic to smooth and modal; more changes follow. Petrucciani's variety and underlying two-beat left-hand rhythm make his performance swing; even boogie-woogie finds its way into the presentation. The longest of Petrucciani's originals, "Trilogy in Blois," offers a stroll in the park, as the pianist's fluid style expresses a melodic flow with spontaneous left hand changes in the rhythm. Nothing can make up for the loss of a life; particularly one so talented. Fortunately, the artist left behind about two dozen albums so that we can remember.

Quelle: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=3855



1997 witnessed more progeny from the love-affair-in the making between Michel and DreyfusJazz with the release of Solo Live [Dreyfus FDM 36597-2] and Trio in Tokyo [Dreyfus FDM 36605-2]. The former was r ecorded on February 27, 1997 before a packed house at the Alte Opera in Frankfurt, Germany and the latter was recorded in-performance at the Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan on various dates in November of 1997.

The concert that formed the basis for Solo Live was to be re-issued in its entirety in 2007 on the two-disc set Michel Petrucciani Piano Solo: The Complete Concert in Germany [Dreyfus FDM 46050369062].

Although recorded in 1997, the single CD version of Solo Live was in preparation for release at the time of Michel's death in January of 1999 and was not released until later that year. Judith Schlesinger, writing in http://www.52ndstreet.com/, offered this poignant review: "It's always sad when a beautiful jazz light goes out. We lost Michel Petrucciani in January of this year, just as he was preparing for the release of this album .... He was barely 37 years old .... A remarkable player and composer, classically trained, he produced ... [numerous] albums as a leader, ... recorded with luminaries and toured ... [the world].

This release is full of his wonderfully melodic originals and innovative versions of three classics. Arranged to flow naturally from one mood to the next, it displays his breadth of technique, his romantic spirit, and his humor (he was reportedly one of the wittiest people in jazz).

His powerful 'Caravan' is often so tongue-in-cheek as to border on hilarious; his 'Little Piece in C for U' is puckish and Monkish, spiced with Caribbean flavor and a hint of boogie-woogie. Picking highlights is difficult when everything is so fine, like the seamless way he glides from the charming opener [Looking Up] into a lovely, subtle version of 'Besame Mucho. 'Home' is simply gorgeous, and 'Brazilian Like' is just that with a lovely lyrical feel. 'Trilogy' ['in Blois] is lush and nearly classical, in the sense of distinct movements woven together, 'She Did It Again'/'Take the 'A' Train/'She Did It Again' illustrates his mastery of time and prodigious, immaculate chops.

This is a richly varied collection of music, both soft and swinging, playful and profound. There are no liner notes, but the press calls Petrucciani 'one of the last great romantics of jazz piano.' I prefer to believe they're still being produced, but there will never be another Petrucciani.

This may be the finest and purest album he ever did: 'The unrestrained freedom and creativity afforded by the album's solo format allows us a chance to appreciate the genius ... in its undiluted, crystalline form.' For those who do not know him, it's a good way to say hello. The fact that it's also goodbye is tragic."

It's so good to hear Steve Gadd back and playing so well after so struggles with his health in the 1980s. Michel's admiration and respect had a great deal to do with Steve's willingness to tour again. Gadd has such an individual style of drumming, "elephant ears" that catch everything that's going on around him in the music and an uncanny ability to make Michel swing even more than usual.

Again turning to Ken Dryden in http://www.allmusic.com/: "Solo Live," released shortly after his death, marks pianist Michel Petrucciani's lasting solo gift to the jazz world. Thought clearly a virtuoso on his instrument, his playing always seemed to reflect as much respect for the audience as it did for his own talent. At its essence, Petrucciani's music is remarkably buoyant, decidedly joyful, improvisationally aggressive, and, above all, intended to evoke an emotional response on the part of the listener.

His amazing reading of Ellington's 'Caravan' is characteristic of this unique style. However, the pianist may best be remembered for his original compositions and three of his most memorable are included here. 'Looking Up,' as the title would suggest, is overtly optimistic and inherently hopeful. 'Home' is a clearly enunciated statement of warmth and comfort. 'Brazilian Like' is orchestral and melodic to the point at which the tune remains in one's head long after its conclusion.

Petrucciani closes the album with the medley of 'She Did It Again'/'Take the 'A' Train/'She Did It Again' - his original sandwiched around Strayhorn's classic. A befitting set-closer for this extraordinary musician."

Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1998

The Blue Note Years
La période Blue Note de Michel Petrucciani n'est pas toujours la plus intéressante pour les amateurs de jazz. Elle est par contre la plus diverse au plan stylistique (goût des producteurs américains oblige), celle où décolla la carrière du pianiste et où il fut le musicien français traité d'égal à égal par les pointures d' outre-Atlantique. Seuls Stéphane Grappelli et Jean-Luc Ponty avaient réussi cela avant lui C'est aussi l'époque où il développa cette vision du jazz à la fois sincère et accessible au grand public, faite de générosité, de swing et d'amour de la mélodie - parfois à la limite de la rengaine - qui fit son succès. La présente compilation traverse intelligemment ces années américaines dont les étapes marquantes sont, entre autres, une rencontre sur scène avec Wayne Shorter et Jim Hall, la collaboration avec Eliott Ziegmund, ex-batteur de Bill Evans et un bel hommage à Ellington en solo absolu.
--Thierry Quénum

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



1998

Archiv: Jazz-Kritiken
Charles Aznavour
Jazznavour EMI 4 96903 2 (49 Min.)
Charles Aznavour ist sicher für die meisten Deutschen der Vertreter des französischen Nachkriegs-Chansons schlechthin. Mittlerweile ist er auch einer der letzten Superstars der Spezies "auteur/compositeur/interprète" ("chansonnier" ist in Frankreich ein singender Kabarettist); Barbara, George Brassens, Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré und Yves Montand leben nicht mehr. Als Textdichter ist Aznavour jegliche Prätention fremd. Seine Lieder erzählen schlicht kleine Geschichten, wie dies auch die klassischen Songs des großen amerikanischen Song Book tun.
Und wie diese gehen sie, wenn auch mitunter haarscharf an der Grenze zur Trivialität vorbeischlingernd, geradewegs unter die Haut. Als Komponist verbindet Charles Aznavour mit der Selbstverständlichkeit des großen Songwriters typische Chanson-Elemente mit amerikanischer Lässigkeit, und natürlich ist das alles auf die Stimme des Interpreten Aznavour zugeschnitten, die in der Tat den Ehrentitel à la Sinatra "The Voice" verdiente. Wie bei "Old Blue Eyes" hat sie diesen relaxten Swing in jeder Phrase.
Jetzt ist endlich das Naheliegende verwirklicht worden: Charles Aznavour hat eine CD mit einer Jazz-Big-Band eingespielt. Als Solisten brillieren Eddy Louiss, Michel Petrucciani, Richard Galliano und Jacky Terrasson. Auf zwei Nummern ist Charles Aznavour mit Dianne Reeves im Duo zu hören, und der Kontrast zwischen afro-amerikanischem Broadway-Feeling und der gallischen Magie des Olympia de Paris ist voll abgründigen Reizes.
Thomas Fitterling, RONDO 2/99



1999

Archiv: Jazz-Kritiken
Michel Petrucciani
Trio In TokyoACT/Edel Contraire 36605-2
(62 Min., aufgenommen 11/97)
Die Nachlassverwalter betonen, dass Petrucciani diesen Mitschnitt seines langjährigen Trios ausdrücklich zur Veröffentlichung freigab. Ich erwähne dies, weil die Kritik nun auf den Verstorbenen selber zurückfällt: Der Trommler stolpert wie ein Elefant durch den Porzellanladen - als wolle er ein Schlagerpublikum zum Mitklatschen animieren; der E-Bassist wummert undifferenziert in den tiefsten Tiefen herum; Petrucciani seinerseits hat mit einem stellenweise unangenehm verfärbten Klavierklang zu kämpfen - kein Wunder, dass er in diesem unkreativen Umfeld vorwiegend auf Klischees und "Motivwiederholungen" zurückgreift. Den Japanern indes schien genau dies zu gefallen.
Mátyás Kiss, 16.3.2000




Reviews:
"Petrucciani plays like man beholden to only melody. He will be missed"
-- allaboutjazz.com by Mark Corroto

"Petrucciani was in fine form for this session."
-- Down Beat by Will Smith

"Evokes the breadth and enormous energy of his talent. This is a beautifully crafted disc."
-- Planet Jazz by Graham Carr

"Petrucciani's articulation, attack and glowing phrasing thrill throughout."
-- Toronto Star

"Petrucciani whips the crowd into a frenzy of delight and appreciation."
-- Jazz News by Bill Donaldson

"...one of the most singular piano-bass-drum trios in all of jazz."
-- Bass Player

"Spirited performance and an opportunity to appreciate the legacy of one of the best jazz pianists in the past twenty years"
-- Cadence

"Whether heard in studio or concert, it's impossible not to feel the joy he was obviously experiencing at the keyboard."
-- Brookline Tab by Ed Smykus

"Wonderful recording. The thing about great music is that it never gets old."
-- Reviews Unlimited

"You will hear nothing but energy, joy and exuberance in the playing of pianist Michel Petrucciani on this beautiful CD, recorded live in 1997."
-- Montreal Gazette by Irwin Block

"Don't miss this one. It's a rare gem that can never be replicated."
-- Good Times by Mike Perciaccante

"This is five star stuff. When is the last time you heard a crowd cheer a ballad?"
-- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Keith Spore

"His mastery of keyboard figuration and colorations and his unique blend of drama and lyricism in extended solo shines through."
-- Richmond Times-Dispatch by Clarke Bustard

"Nothing but energy, joy and exuberance."
-- Gazette by Irwin Block

"...remarkably supple, lyrical and expressive, but with driving, undiluted emotion."
-- CMJ New Music Report

"Petrucciani's hell-bent-for-leather and softly subtle solos during this live 1997 performance attest to his stature as a jazz giant."
-- Winnipeg Sun

"There is an emphasis on interplay, especially from Gadd...This is another posthumous reminder of how wonderful Petrucciani could be in a spontaneous concert setting, playing his own music with most capable musicians. Recommended."
-- All Music Guide by Michael Nastos

"With drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Anthony Jackson, Petrucciani takes a profound approach with a bit of funk."
-- Tribune Review (Greensburg, PA) by Bob Karlovits

"Petrucciani laid down eight keepers."
-- Wired by Philip Van Vleck

"The group displays a high degree of musical telepathy."
-- Pulse Magazine by Dan Emerson

"Petrucciani's playing on this release is very emotional, and his solos are so logical and lyrical that every music student should study them."
-- Event

"Petrucciani's seasoned fellow-campaigners can barely match his glowing, often incendiary work on tunes that benefit from superb recording quality."
-- Toronto Star

"Trio in Tokyo was recorded in front of a live audience, where, even more than most jazz artists, Petrucciani was always best. When the audience at the Blue Note Tokyo comes out of its chairs, I miss him so. I want to be there. With this recording, I am there."
-- Stereophile by Thomas Conrad




Trio in Tokyo [Dreyfus FDM 36605-2] finds Michel once again in the company of his rhythm mates on the Both Worlds sextet album. Pascal Anquetil as translated into English by Charles Tobermann offers these comments about Michel in his introduction: "If there is a single quality that best sums up Michel Petrucciani's personality and his music, it is generosity. Onstage, in the heat of the moment, close to the audience, in the heated intimacy of a club atmosphere, he expressed his passion for sharing most truthfully. 'A lot of musicians have a playing style that is too egotistical,' he said. 'They play for themselves and an elite happy few. I play to give pleasyre and to communicate. I'd like to think of myself as a very happy person. That's why it is so important to pass along and give to others the generosity that is indispensable in art, music and life.

The proof is these magic moment caught live in Tokyo in 1997. Along with Anthony Jackson and Steve Gadd - two close friends with whom he had a musical relationship that was almost telepathic - Michel Petrucciani lines up a burning hour of piano, mixing standards and originals to unleash his unbounded generosity and give free reign to his own sensual sense of lyricism. Once again, we are struck by the solar clarity of his phrasing, the vigor and percussive rigor of his touch (he was a master of tempo who played 'all the way through a note'), and the breadth of his long phrases in which you always distinctly hear each note. Michel brought accent and dimension to everything he played. Above all, he brought complete sincerity. His heart sang directly through the piano. This album is a most astonishing demonstration of it." Michael G. Naxtos brought these thoughts about the recording to his review of Trio in Tokyo in http://www.allmusic.com/: "Pianist Petrucciani was somewhat of a chameleon, inclined to go from mainstream jazz to more contemporary beats, which makes the rhythm team of electric bass guitarist Anthony Jackson and drummer Steve Gadd a good combination. They push and pull the pianist flexing their fusion-oriented muscles while providing a swing backdrop that Petrucciani can relate to, allowing him his unbridled lyricism. This is a live club date done at the Blue Note in Tokyo, and the crowd response is indicative of the kineticism flowing on the bandstand from these three outstanding musicians.

The trio swings hard on 'Training,' one of the seven Petrucciani originals. It's a basic melody rivaling the best of Tommy Flanagan's work. Gadd's swing/funk informs 'September Second,' which sets the pianist on a melodic tear of modally repeated choruses as a basis for his startling improvisations. The lilting ballad 'Home,' with its slight samba inferences, goes into a disco shuffle and 'Just the Way You Are' tonalities. Then the trio cuts loose for Petrucciani's flying bop number 'A Little Piece in C for U,' a showstopper no matter your preference. Gadd's seldom-heard brushwork on the ballad-to-easy swing of 'Love Letter' has the band gelling nicely, while 'Cantabile' incorporates light funk underneath Petrucciani's paraphrasings of snippets of 'Blue Skies' and 'Without a Song." A more rambling melodicism that can go anywhere - and does - accents the modal, pedal-point base of the funky lite blue 'Colors' with quotes straight from 'But Beautiful' and 'But Not for Me.' As an encore closer, the trio begins politely on the Miles davis evergreen 'So What,' but grows energetic and animated halfway through. There is an emphasis on interplay, especially from Gadd on the latter bridgework.

This is another posthumous reminder of how wonderful Petrucciani could be in a spontaneous concert setting, playing his own music with capable musicians. ..."

Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1999

Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Feuilleton
Donnerstag, den02.03.2000, Nr.52
All The Things He Was

Michel Petrucciani in bisher unveröffentlichten Live-Aufnahmen

Als der französische Jazzpianist Michel Petrucciani in der Nacht auf den 6. Januar 1999 im Alter von 36 Jahren starb, wurde die Musikwelt von mehr als nur respektvoller Erschütterung erfasst. Nicht allein, dass der Künstler sein Werk einem Leben abgerungen hatte, das von der Osteogenesis imperfecta , der sogenannten Glasknochenkrankheit, aufs schwerste eingeschränkt war, hatte heftige Gefühle geweckt; mehr noch zählte, mit welcher Selbstverständlichkeit er sein Los getragen, wie kategorisch er es abgelehnt hatte, als Sonderfall behandelt oder gar als Opfer bemitleidet zu werden. Als geselliger, herzlicher Mensch hatte er sich gegeben; seine Musik jedoch schien manches Mal von einem anderen Stern zu sprechen. Man konnte Petrucciani nicht sehen und hören, ohne von ihm heftig angerührt zu werden. Vielleicht wird es später möglich sein - wenn das denn ein Ziel sein sollte -, Gestalt und Werk stärker zu trennen und sein Schaffen aus Distanz kritisch zu ordnen. Wer jedoch Petrucciani im Konzert erlebt hat, dem wird er auch in den nun posthum veröffentlichten Aufnahmen aus jedem Takt entgegentreten als jenes einzigartige, zugleich ferne und aufs unheimlichste nahe Wesen, das er nun einmal war.
Petruccianis Schaffen ist fast überreichlich dokumentiert. Gleichwohl sind die "Concerts Inédits", die nun auf 3 CD vorgelegt werden, eine wichtige Ergänzung. Gilt die erste Aufnahme (Antibes Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival, 27. Juli 1993) dem Solisten Petrucciani, zeigt ihn die zweite im Duo mit dem Bassisten Niels Henning Orsted Pederson (Kopenhagen, Jazzhouse, 18. April 1994) und die dritte im Trio mit seinem Bruder Louis am Bass sowie Lenny White am Schlagzeug (Nabari, Japan, 14. August 1994). Leider sagt das mehr von Ergriffenheit als Akribie geprägte Booklet nichts darüber, in welchem Umfang die entsprechenden Tourneen dokumentiert sind und nach welchen Kriterien die vorliegenden Aufnahmen ausgewählt wurden. Hinsichtlich des Repertoires bringen die Mitschnitte nichts Neues: Petrucciani zitiert in gewohnter Manier das "Great American Songbook" und streut hin und wieder eine Eigenkomposition ein ("Hidden Joy", "Manhattan", "Charlie Brown", "Dumb Breaks"). Im Zentrum stehen die Standards, die er immer wieder gespielt hat: von "Autumn Leaves" bis "Round Midnight", von "All Tue Things You Are" bis "My Fanny Valentine", von "Caravan" bis "Oleo".
Die Soloaufnahmen zeigen Petrucciani auf der Höhe seiner technischen Möglichkeiten und seiner künstlerischen Eigenständigkeit. Er hat sich von seinen frühen Vorbildern - McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans, Keith Jarret - gelöst, aber es sind doch noch reizvolle Spurenelemente dieser Inspirationsquellen zu hören. Sein Spiel ist zupackender und klarer geworden, aber noch nicht bei jedem perkussiven Spätstil angelangt, der die Anschlagskultur stark verengte. Die Songs sind auch noch nicht zu Endlos-Medleys verwoben wie in späteren Konzerten. Entzückend ist der Reichtum an perlenden Inventionen der rechten Hand; die linke dagegen spielt mitunter in fast mechanischer Manier ihre Ostinato-Figuren.
Den Höhepunkt der Edition bildet das Konzert mit Orsted Pederson. Nun ist dieser Künstler mit seinem warmen und vollen, dabei schlanken Ton, seiner stupenden Technik und seinem melodischen Einfallsreichtumnicht nur einer der grossen Bassisten seiner Generation, sondern auch ein Duo-Partner von höchster Souplesse. Unter seinen zahlreichen Aufnahmensind die mit Kenny Drew aus den siebziger Jahren wohl die eindrücklichsten. Doch auch hier stellt er sich mit nuanciertester Empathie auf seinen musikalischen Partner ein. Wie die beiden in Miles Davis' "All Blues" Ornamente in die Zeit legen, die durch kleinste perspektivische Verschiebungen zu leben beginnen, wie sie Charlie Parkers "Billies Bounce" in hellwachem Interplay zum Fliegen bringen - das ist die reine Freude.
Dieses Niveau vermag die Trio-CD nicht ganz zu halten. Zwar agiert Petrucciani selbst souverän und legt etwa von "On Green Dolphin Street" eine weitausgreifende, makellose Interpretation vor, doch seine Begleiter beweisen nicht die Eigenständigkeit, die andere Partner des Pianisten - man denke an Schlagzeuger wie Jack DeJohnette, Roy Haynes oder Tony Williams, Bassisten wie Eddie Gomez, Charlie Haden oder Cecil McBee - an den Tag legten. Louis Petrucciani und Lenny White vermögen dem Tausendsassa am Klavier zwar zu folgen, aber sie beflügeln ihn nicht mit eigenen Ideen. Den Meister selbst indes zeigt auch dieser Mitschnitt unverstellter als die Aufnahmen mit größeren Formationen, die ihn in seinem letzten Lebensjahr beschäftigten.
Manfred Papst
Michel Petrucciani: Concerts Inédits, 3 CD (Dreyfus/Disques Offices)



Concerts
By Don Williamsen

Ever since Clark Terry quizzically discovered him in his native France and ever since Charles Lloyd generously ended his hermetic retreat to tour with him, Michel Petrucciani has captured the affection and admiration of musicians and listeners alike. In spite of his unavoidable physical limitations and the pain of his "glass bones disease," he created improvisational art and inspired everyone he met. Requiring leg extensions to operate the pedals, Petrucciani made up for that limitation with a very percussive approach to the piano. When one looks at the photographs of Petrucciani, it becomes apparent that his hands were unaffected by the genetic defect, thus allowing him somehow to summon the strength to always attack the piano with fierceness and grace.

Now that Petrucciani is gone after 36 years, Dreyfus has re-released the recordings of three of Petrucciani's concerts: a solo concert at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1993, a duo concert at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse in 1994, and a trio concert in Nabari, Japan, in 1994. This packaging of three of Petrucciani's concerts in fairly close chronological order allows a comparison of his style as he engages an audience with his solo presence, or as he interacts seamlessly with fellow musicians on stage.

Starting the listening experience with Petrucciani's solo concert lets the listener understand how he develops his tunes with an underlying percussive feel, even without rhythm back-up, as well as his harmonic depth. Yet, the appealing complexity of his music becomes even more apparent as Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen joins in, not for support, but as an equal in developing the music. The bassist's solos throughout the Duo album, or his sympathetic unison lines with Petrucciani to the tune of "Oleo," or the ease of sliding from one number to another bespeaks a mutual understanding of the music.

With the rhythmic support of his brother, Louis, and drummer Lenny White during the Japanese concert, the fullness of Petrucciani's approach reaches it culmination as the rhythm section frees him to develop alternative rhythms and interactive communication.

Michel Petrucciani obviously is deeply missed. This Dreyfus three-CD set provides further documentation of his artistic talent and his extroverted music that reached thousands. And always will.

Quelle: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=6497



Michel Petrucciani's diminutive stature was due to a genetic disorder that caused brittle bones and stunted his growth, but he figuratively stood tall among jazz pianists of the 1980s and 1990s, prior to his premature death at 36 in early 1999. This three-CD set consists of portions of three separate concerts by Petrucianni, none of which have been previously issued. The 1993 solo concert starts off with a breathtaking improvised introduction to "Autumn Leaves" that will fool all but the most attentive listener. He continues to tease his audience by adding a new vamp to "In a Sentimental Mood" that adds to the dreamy atmosphere originally conceived by its composer, Duke Ellington. "Take the 'A' Train" is played with an up-tempo boogie-woogie bassline with his right-handed improvisations played in his more familiar post-bop style. "Besame Mucho" was one of the pianist's favorite ballads (he complained that few people realized that it was written as a sad ballad), though this very poignant version is only slightly marred by his untimely coughing. The exotic introduction that he conceives for "Caravan" slowly builds the tension before the audience is finally tipped off as to his path. "'Round Midnight" is strangely mislabeled as "Around Midnight," which he signals with the repeated tolling of a single bass note; his interpretation is quite lyrical and haunting. His one original from this performance is "Hidden Joy," a somewhat meandering work that is not quite up to the level of his playing on the rest of this concert. The second CD in this set comes from a live 1994 club date with the marvelous Danish bassist Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen; they inspire one another greatly with their playful opener, "All the Things You Are." Both the pianist's lyrical playing and the bassist's atypical chord substitutions to "I Can't Get Started" make their interpretation of this classic ballad noteworthy. The very familiar "All Blues" receives more of a loping, cowboy-on-the-range-like treatment that is rather refreshing. "Beautiful Love" showcases both musician's formidable solo technique in a fine effort. A fun-filled romp through "Billie's Bounce" cracks up the audience in several places, while "My Funny Valentine" is a bop tour de force. The trio CD in this set dates from a 1994 Japanese concert with his brother Louis Petrucciani on bass and drummer Lenny White. The furious post-bop original "Manhattan" starts things in high gear, followed by a playful bossa nova original entitled "Charlie Brown" that was likely inspired by the late Vince Guaraldi's music for the Peanuts cartoon television specials. After flirting with a modal introduction only briefly, Petrucciani launches "On Green Dolphin Street" with a flourish, though occasional notes are hit hard enough to overwhelm the sound system. "Why?," written by Phillippe Petrucciani (the pianist's brother, a guitarist who doesn't appear on this release), is a spiraling bossa nova. "Tutu," the well-known Marcus Miller piece from Miles Davis' fusion era, seems a surprising choice for an acoustic trio, but it works rather well. The pianist's funky strut "Dumb Breaks" wraps up the set. Although the overall performances are not at the consistently high level one comes to expect from Michel Petrucciani, and there are sound problems in several places, fans of his music will overlook these minor flaws and seek out this set, which is warmly recommended.
Ken Dryden, All Music Guide



Concerts Inedits, [Dreyfus FDM 36607-2] is a surfeit of riches that was also released in 1999, the year of Michel's death. Not only does this 3 CD set contain a wealth of music by Michel in solo piano, piano and bass duo and piano-bass-drums trio settings, it also contains a booklet with a wealth of information about the artist and a loving tribute by Pascal Anquetil [author of the Both Worlds insert notes] . Charles Tobermann once again is the translator and he does an excellent job of capturing the love and the sadness in Anquetil's homage - "Petrucciani: Un Messager du Jazz."

The Solo Concerts Inedits disc takes us back to July 27, 1993 the evening when this recording was made at the Antibes Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival and provides us the basis for comparing, in progressions of two years, the evolution of Michel's solo style with that on display in Michel Petrucciani Au Theatre Des Champs-Elysees [Paris 1995] and Solo Live [recorded in Frankfurt, Germany, 1997].

Interesting, too, is that the solo repertoire does not change very much over this five year span as the 1993 Antibes Jazz Festival performance also offers performances of standards such as "Autumn Leaves," "In A Sentimental Mood," "Take the 'A' Train," "Besame Mucho," "Caravan" and "'Round Midnight." Compositionally, the only major difference in this earlier solo concert is that Michel only performs one of his original compositions - "Hidden Joy" - whereas, the later solo recitals would have more of his own work represented.

However, this being said, whenever Michel performed, especially in performances, there were always surprises from previous or subsequent performances. Ken Dryden offered the following synopsis of Michel live performance on the Solo Concerts Inedits: [paragraphing modified] "The 1993 solo concert starts off with a breathtaking improvised introduction to 'Autumn Leaves' that will fool all but the most attentive listener. He continues to tease his audience by adding a new vamp to 'In A Sentimental Mood' that adds to the dreamy atmosphere originally conceived by its composer, Duke Ellington. 'Take the 'A' Train' is played with an up-tempo boogie-woogie bassline with his right-handed improvisations played in his more familiar post-bop style.

'Besame Mucho' was one of the pianists favorite ballads (he complained that few people realized that it was written as a sad ballad) ... [and he offers it here in a] very poignant version .... The exotic introduction that he conceives for 'Caravan' slowly builds the tension before the audience is finally tipped off as to his path. 'Round Midnight' ... he signals with the repeated tolling of a single bass note; his interpretation is quite lyrical and haunting."

Over the remaining [too few] years of his life, Michel would continue to perform a fairly set program made of standards such as those he played on Concerts Inedits and the original compositions highlighted on Both Worlds and Solo Live.

Deciding on a limited repertoire of standards and originals that are comfortable to play on seems to be an avenue for performance that many noteworthy Jazz artists travel down as their careers develop.

Take for example, this conversation with noted alto saxophonist Lee Konitz which appears in Wayne Enstice & Paul Rubin's Jazz Spoken Here: Conversation with 22 Musicians [New York: Da Capo Press, 1994]. [paragraphing modified] "PR: We've noticed that on some of your albums certain standards reappear ....

LK: Well, that's simply a result of, I mean that's basically my repertoire, that few dozen tunes.

WE: So you prefer having a limited body of material to play?

LK: If we have a little short confessional here [laughter], I keep thinking that it doesn't matter what tunes you play. The process is the same, and if it works, then it's like a new piece, you know. And it is a fact that the better you know the song the more chances you might dare to take.

Bird played a dozen tunes all his life, basically, and most of the people that were improvising [at that time] - Tristano played the same dozen tunes all his life. And you know, it's amazing what depth he got. He wouldn't have gotten that otherwise, I don't think, in that particular way.

I think it's something similar to Monet painting the lily pond at all times of the day, catching the reflection of the light.

I just feel with each situation I'm in, different rhythm sections of whatever, that 'I'll Remember April' becomes just something else. And it is a very preferable point - that's the main thing.

Everybody who knows that material knows that material pretty well - the listeners and the musicians. So they know, you can just nakedly reveal if anything is happening or not; there's no subterfuge. And that aspect of it is appealing to me, I think." [p. 204].

I'm not certain that a similar question put to Michel would evoke a similar answer, but perhaps he would agree with some of the reasoning offered by Konitz as to why an artist might chose to frequently improvise on a limited set on tunes.

For this listener, it is quite enjoyable to have a number of versions of the same tune as played by Michel and to hear how his improvisations based on these tunes sometimes quite miraculously turns them into "... a new piece" and, to paraphrase Konitz, to be amazed on more than one occasion at "... what depth he got."

Concerts Inedits-DUO finds Michel in rather stupendous bass company with the legendary Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen. The recording was made in performance at the Copenhagen JazzHouse on April 18, 1994 which was also the date of its broadcast by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Jazz Department.

Don Williamson writing in http://www.allaboutjazz.com/ had this to say about the first two discs in the set saving his emphasis for the DUO disc: "Starting the listening experience with Petrucciani's solo concert lets the listener understand how he develops his tunes with an underlying percussive feel, even without rhythm back-up, as well as his harmonic depth. Yet, the appealing complexity of his music becomes even more apparent as Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen joins in, not for support, but as an equal in developing the music. The bassist's solos throughout the DUO album, or his sympathetic unison lines with Petrucciani to the tune of 'Oleo,' or the ease of sliding from one number to another bespeaks a mutual understanding of the music."

And the following from Ken Dryden writing in http://www.allmusic.com/ about Concerts Inedits-DUO: "... [Michel & Niels Henning]... inspire one another greatly with their playful opener, 'All The Things You Are. Both the pianist's lyrical playing and the bassist's atypical chord substitutions to 'I Can't get Started' [which are strummed by Orsted Pedersen in the style of rhythm guitar] make their interpretation of this classic ballad noteworthy. The very familiar 'All Blues' receives more of a loping, cowboy-on-the-range-like treatment that is rather refreshing. 'Beautiful Love' showcases both musician's formidable solo technique in a fine effort. A fun-filled romp through 'Billie's Bounce' cracks up the audience in several places, while "My Funny Valentine' is a bop tour-de-force."

Authors Richard Cook and Brian Morton caught up to both Solo Live and Concerts Inedits in their 6th Edition of The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD and had this to say about both recordings: [paragraphs modified] "Petrucciani's passing robbed jazz of one of its most charismatic spirits, especially in performance, and these sets are reminders of how much an audience would respond to him. The three-disc set offers him in solo, duo, and trio settings: it's somewhat patchy, since the solo disc has a rather hard and unattractive piano sound, and the trio set (with Louis Petrucciani, bass and Lennie White, drums, cut at a Japanese concert) doesn't entirely benefit from the drummer's energies.

But the duo record with NHOP is a delight, two virtuosos at the top of their game without overpowering the listeners with how much they can play.

Solo Live is a marvelous Frankfurt concert recording. Michel warms up with a sequence of shorter pieces before stretching out on 'Trilogy in Blois' and 'Caravan.' He was always rethinking material: the 'Besame Mucho' here is entirely different from the treatment on Concerts Inedits. The final 'She Did It Again'/'Take the 'A' Train' is show stopping, but each note seems to matters as a part of the flow. This great communicator will be sorely missed.

As alluded to in the Cook and Morton review Concerts Inedits-Trio is somewhat adversely affected by the exuberant drumming of Lennie White [although some of this may be the fault of the fact that the drums are over-recorded]. In fairness, White's is an accomplished drummer who drives Michel into very pulsating improvisations on the up-tempo "burners" such as the originals "Manhattan" and "Dumb Breaks," which open and close the concert which took place in Nabari, Japan on August 14, 1994. And, at times during the closer, it seems that Michel is the one rushing the tempo as he gets caught up in the thunderstorm of drums licks that Lenny is laying down behind him.

This concert does have its beautiful moments with the trio's rendition of pianist's Marcus Miller's "Tutu," a lovely musical depiction of [Michel guitar playing brother] Philippe Petrucciani's sambaesque "Why?" and, what I consider to be the highlight of the concert, an eleven minute medium tempo version of "On Green Dolphin Street" in which the trio comes together brilliantly as a unit.

Although not particularly rated highly, in part, no doubt due to the fact that he was overshadowed by his super-star little brother, a close listening to the bass lines that Louis Petrucciani puts down on this recording is sure to impress the listener with the fact that this is truly an exceptional bass player. His choice of notes with which to "frame the chord" are tasteful and germane and his bass lines are powerful and propelling.

As an example, at 4:47 of the track "On Green Dolphin Street, Michel moves his solo into lines played by both hands an octave apart in the lower register and one effect of this is to bring forward how superbly Louis is complimenting what he is doing in bass clef.

As Pascal Anquetil summarizes in his insert notes: "Everything about the boxed set that you have in your hands is magical. It accomplishes the miracle of reviving Michel as he really was - explosive, spontaneous, and fiery. First a solo, at Gould Woods in the historic setting of 'Jazz`a Juan.' Next, a duo with that devil of a Viking NHOP (bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen). Finally, in a trio with drummer Lennie White and his brother Louis on bass.

It's clear from listening to each of these musical moments that Michel was never so good as when he was in front of an audience, never so free as when 'live.'

'In the studio, there is always the microphone, "the snitch," as I call it. It's a sword of Damocles. It makes the pressure enormous. You have to outdo yourself "on demand" because the tape is rolling.'

On the other hand, in front of an audience Michel was happy, liberated, finally free."
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



1999

Steve Grossman Quartet
Deux esthètes aux commandes d'un album à la fois tranquille et vif. Le pianiste répond aux injonctions du saxophoniste avec une réelle vista. Grossman, lui, cale un jeu qui fait de plus de plus penser à celui de Sonny Rollins. Une chaleur d'exécution et une virtuosité qui accompagne parfaitement le phrasé millimétré de Petrucciani. Un disque un peu méconnu à sa sortie, qu'il est bon de ressortir aujourd'hui.
--Eric Frank

Quelle: http://www.amazon.fr/



Reviews:
"A level of vigor and probing curiosity that reveals the extent to which he's refined his creative gift."
-- Jazz Times by Stuart Nicholson

"Grossman creatively and grandly engages the listener in masterful and subtly played interpretations of 10 ballads."
-- Portland Skanner by Dick Bogle

"Many gorgeous moments."
-- Jazz Educators Journal

"It's almost eerie, the beauty that Petrucciani conjures in this set... Grossman's sound is fully matured: look forward to more adroit music from him."
-- AllAboutJazz.com by Mark Corroto

"**** (Four Stars)"
-- 52nd street.com by Jeff Morris

"Michel Petrucciani proves to be a perfect complement for Grossman's new lyrical approach to improvisation. They absolutely mesh with the kind of chemistry that can't be induced or taught"
-- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Keith Spore

"Grossman diggs deep into his reflections."
-- SonicNet.com by Robert Doerschuk

"Another solid performance, Grossman's presence is front and center stage"
-- Jazz News by Russell Arthur Roberts



Steve Grossman with Michel Petrucciani
(Dreyfus)
US release date: 25 April 2000
by Ben Varkentine
You have to give it this: The album's title is self-descriptive. This CD does, in fact, feature Steve Grossman with Michel Petrucciani. Grossman plays sax, Petrucciani plays piano. The rest of the quartet is made up of Andy McKee and Joe Farnsworth on bass and drums, respectively. This is jazz in classic quartet mode, the kind of songs Frank Sinatra sang and Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington played.
Michel Petrucciani plays quietly, like the piano player at the edge of your hearing in a barroom. He is relaxed yet tight on the rhythm. But Steve Grossman's sax just doesn't go up to the mountain for me, it's like the cigarette smoke that makes you unable to enjoy the music. The improvisations don't do justice to the songs he is playing, and don't replace them with anything better. Or more original-Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood" keeps threatening to turn into "Someone to Watch Over Me!" It brings to mind all the square put-downs of jazz, like "If you get near a song, play it!"
Grossman's credentials are certainly unassailable. He was playing with Miles Davis when he was 18. Petrucciani's credits are, if anything, even more impressive. He played with a long list of players prior to his death last year, including but hardly limited to Steve Gadd, Dizzy Gillespie, and David Sanborn.
The rhythm section does fine work, if they don't exactly fly. They've got their act together, but they never quite take it on the road.
The sax sounds strained and unattractive, the piano is warm and rich. Unfortunately, the one prevents you from fully enjoying the other. They sound like friendly strangers, not hostile to each other by any means but not finishing each other's sentences either, as though the differences in first languages -- Grossman is from New York, Petrucciani is from France -- had extended to their instruments.



Francois Dreyfus explains how Michel's involvement in the Steve Grossman Quartet Featuring Michel Petrucciani [Dreyfus FDM 36602-2] came about: "Paris - January 4th, 1998 - 10:00 PM. I'm having dinner with Michel Petrucciani. We're talking about our projects and I tell him that I'm producing a new album by Steve Grossman. 'Look no further for a pianist, I'm there! In fact, I'd really like to co-produce!' All of the simplicity of his talent is right there in two sentences.

Michel came to the session with a special present, a new composition for Steve, 'Parisian Welcome.' We recorded it for the album. Beyond a rare and special rapport, and a friendship of fifteen years, I know that Michel had the kind of respect for Steve that he reserved for the truly great."

And this from Steve Grossman's point of view: "I first met Michel Petrucciani in New York City in the mid-1980's. I was fortunate to be a witness to his incredible talent and development from that time for many years to his last studio recording with me. At this session, he was always ready to give all he had plus more! He was always an inspiration. I will miss him." Grossman and Petrucciani are supported by Andy McKee on bass and Joe Farnsworth of drums and aside from the previously mentioned original by Petrucciani and one by Grossman entitled "Song for My Mother," the recording features sensitive and warm interpretations of ballads including 'Body and Soul,' 'Don't Blame Me,' and 'Ebb Tide."

One would imagine that Michel suggested both 'Theme for Ernie' and 'In A Sentimental Mood' as these are both tunes with which he has a previous association.

A very pleasant compositional surprise on this recording is 'Inner Circle' an original by bassist Andy McKee that's played in ¾ time with an AAB structure involving one chord for the first 8, a second chord for the second 8 and then the use of both chords each for 4 bars in the final 8 that makes up the bridge. The ¾ time signature, the suspended sense of resolution caused by vamping on one chord and the unusual compositional structure come together to create an almost ethereal feeling while listening to the tune.
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



2000

The year 2000 witnessed the release of two quartet albums with Michel as an accompanist to two tenor saxophonists: Steve Grossman and Bob Malach [although, strictly speaking, the Malach CD was not released on Dreyfus, but rather on, GoJazz 6043-2].

The Bob Malach/Michel Petrucciani - Conversations with Michel was actually recorded as an album in January 1989 with Jazz pianist Ben Sidran as its producer.

Aside from the wonderful music made by these two "old friends," the disc also contains an interview that Ben, who holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale, made with Michel when he appeared on the NPR radio program - "Sidran on Record."

Michel interview with Ben also appears in the CD's insert notes in its entirety and all of the interview recorded as part of Ben's radio program were later published in Talking Jazz: An Oral History [New York: DaCapo Press, 1995].

Musically, the disc offers a fascinating musical study with the four different versions of Michel's "My Bebop Tune," a new original by Michel - "For all Time Sake" and a brief re-statement of his 'Contradictions" which appears on both the Live and Playground Blue Note CDs.

To my ears, aside from the fun-filled interplay that Petrucciani and Malach display on the four versions of "My Bebop Tune," two additional bright moments on this disc are their melancholy [but not syrupy] versions of Theme for Ernie and You Must Believe in Spring, both of which have become classic Jazz ballads.

The total time on this CD is less than 40 minutes but it's worth just to hear the charming humor that Michel displays when talking about himself and his music.
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



2000

Archiv: Jazz-Kritiken
Michel Petrucciani
Days Of Wine And RosesOwl/Universal 548 288-2
(2 CDs, 126 Min., aufgenommen 1981-85)
Das Erscheinen dieser Doppel-CD mit dem Untertitel "The Owl Years" transportiert gleich zwei gute Botschaften. Die eine lautet, das Frühwerk Michel Petruccianis ist hierzulande nun zugänglich, und die andere, die weiteren Schätze des Owl-Labels sind bei Universal aufgehoben und könnten endlich den Weg in deutsche Regale finden.
Ende der siebziger Jahre gründete Jean-Jacques Pussiau zusammen mit Guy van Minden das erste ernsthafte französische Kleinlabel des zeitgenössischen Jazz. "Owl", das englische Wort für das französische "chouette", wurde zum Namen und Motto des Labels. "Chouette" ist nicht nur die französische "Eule", sondern bezeichnet als Adjektiv das, was zugleich auf liebenswürdige und pfiffige Weise cool ist.
Und genau das ist die Musik Petruccianis hier. Man mag bedauern, dass der Sampler in erster Linie aus Solo-Einspielungen besteht und die Aufnahmen mit dem französischen Trio sowie die Duo-LPs nur kurz berücksichtig werden, doch wenn man zugibt, dass später anderenorts veröffentlichte Combo-Aufnahmen mehr von sich hermachen, ist die Owl-Auswahl verständlich. Die Soloaufnahmen nämlich sind ein Juwel. Der Einfluss amerikanischer Power-Play-Pianisten ist noch kaum spürbar. Petrucciani lässt sich noch Zeit, melodischen und durchaus gewagten harmonischen Gedanken mit warmem Ton nachzulauschen und sie dabei einer klar fortschreitenden Logik zu unterziehen. Für PC-Nutzer gibt es einen Filmausschnitt minütigen Bonustrack mit einem kurzen Interview.
Thomas Fitterling, 8.2.2001



Days Of Wine And Roses is a 2 CDs set that includes 15 tracks artfully selected by the producer Jean-Jacques Pussiau from the 6 albums that Michel Petrucciani recorded for his OWL Records label between 1981 and 1985.



CD1 Track1 Michel Petrucciani - Piano Jean Francois Jenny-Clark - Bass Aldo Romano - Drums
CD2 Track4 Michel Petrucciani Lee Konitz - Alto Sax All remaining tracks Michel Petrucciani - Solo piano

Michel Petrucciani was born in Orange, France, in 1962, into a musical family and he began studying the piano at the age of six. He was born with a bone condition, osteogenesis imperfecta, which prevented him from growing taller than about three feet. It was certainly no impediment to his musical ability however, he gave a solo recital at 13 and by the time he was 15, he was sitting in with visiting overseas jazz musicians and holding his own. At 17 he moved to Paris, where he made his debut album. By 1980, he had achieved US recognition and toured Europe in a duo with US Alto player Lee Konitz. The next year, he joined Tenor Saxist Charles Lloyd, in a new band which found instant success in the US and his flamboyant style was well suited to that of the leader.

The music on this CD was recorded in the period 1981 to1985, when Petrucciani was at the peak of his musical career. His technique is stunning, as is the emotional complexity of the music he plays. Whether it is in one of his own compositions or the works of The Duke or Thelonius Monk, all of it is 100% Petrucciani! Like most musical geniuses there is a tendency to be enigmatic at times as the mood swings in his improvisations can be very rapid, to the point where, on first listening, you can be left behind and lose the plot. It is music for the serious jazz listener, this is long way away from 'easy listening', but the effort of careful attention is very rewarding. I am sorry there was not more of the trio; I enjoyed the first track greatly. Lee Konitz makes to me what is an unremarkable appearance, on CD2 Track 4.

I enjoyed CD1 more than CD2. The reason for this may be that I am very familiar with all the tunes on CD2 and the Petrucciani performance of them was not what I was expecting. I did not see a live performance by Michel and I found the included CD-ROM extract from the film 'Lettre a Michel Petrucciana' fascinating. The tune My Romance being a personal favourite.

Don Mather

Don Mather is a Tenor Sax player and Bandleader in Coventry UK

Quelle: http://www.musicweb-international.com/jazz/2001/Feb01/petrucciani.htm



UN BASSO "PNEUMATICO"

L'ascolto è cominciato con un CD di pianoforte solo, "The Owl Years" di Michel Petrucciani. Lo strumento appare immediatamente equilibrato e di giuste dimensioni in rapporto all'ambiente d'ascolto. I rumori di fondo della registrazione sono ben intelligibili e l'effetto "live" della riproduzione trasporta virtualmente l'ascoltatore nello spazio e nel tempo, così come ianto che si definisca "hi-fi" dovrebbe fare. Ottimo inizio.
Il SACD live di Battiato "Last summer dance" scivola nel cassettino del lettore e, subito, sogni impi evince la buona presenza della voce, l'ottima profondità del palcoscenico immaginario e la più che discreta larghezza dell'immagine. La timbrica appare giusto un pelo confusa, ma molto meno rispetto a quanto ho avuto occasione di ascoltare in altri impianti nei quali ho fatto suonare questo difficilissimo SACD. Di solito mi sento dire dai proprietari dei vari impianti che è inciso male, ma in effetti il problema è che si tratta di un'incisione molto difficile da dipanare, se amplificazione e diffusori non ne sono all'altezza. Risultato delle Emme, per questo parametro, abbondantemente sopra la media di prodotti appartenenti alla stessa fascia di prezzo. La dinamica è nella norma, mentre gli acuti non sono mai metallici né troppo in evidenza. La mia nota idiosincrasia per la stragrande maggioranza dei tweeters a cupola metallica, per questa volta rientra nei ranghi e riesco a godermi l'ascolto senza fastidio alcuno.
La tenuta in potenza risulta molto buona. Quando ascolto questo genere di musica tendo ad alzare oltremisura il volume e queste BETA non hanno fatto una piega fino a pressioni sonore difficilmente raggiungibili in normali ambienti domestici. Com'è, come non è, fatto sta che mi ascolto il SACD fino alla fine dimenticando che l'idea originaria era quella di recensire i diffusori. Cose che succedono quando il piacere dell'ascolto fa dimenticare la "routine" della prova.
Steve Strauss, "Just like love" (SACD): il basso è molto ben frenato e potente fino ai 50 Hz circa, sotto cala inesorabilmente. Il timbro della voce è corretto così come quello delle chitarre, anche se affiora una leggera grana, ahimè inevitabile con apparecchi di questa categoria. La voce di Strauss non pare mai cupa o gonfia sul mediobasso. Bene anche la restituzione dei transienti in gamma media, le pennate sulle chitarre ed i colpi sulle percussioni sono naturali. L'immagine è ben piazzata contro la parete di fondo, con un leggero effetto di avvicinamento delle chitarre, incise ai lati. E' una caratteristica della registrazione e riuscire a riprodurre queste chitarre alla stessa profondità della voce in centro è prerogativa di pochissimi diffusori al mondo. La scena si presenta in ogni modo larga ed alla giusta altezza. Questo è un disco realizzato con pochi strumenti, ma che se non è correttamente riprodotto tende a suonare drammaticamente confuso. Ciò non è mai accaduto nel caso delle BETA e ciò è un grosso merito. Certo, qualche volta i suoni provenienti dai lati rendono identificabili i diffusori, ma devo anche dire di non aver mai ascoltato diffusori da pavimento di questa classe che riescano a fare di meglio.
Rispolvero dopo tanto tempo il CD "M'innamoravo di tutto", di De Andrè (e Mina, nella Canzone di Marinella). E' un CD che mi accompagnava svariati anni fa durante le mie prove presso gli impianti di amici o nelle fiere. Un certo giorno lessi una recensione su una rivista cartacea che ne faceva cenno e da allora non mi trovo in una fiera nella quale qualche audiofilo non lo stia ascoltando. Dopo questa modesta autocelebrazione posso continuare. Dicevo appunto di "Marinella". Certo, incisione molto indicata per giudicare in un sol colpo le voci dei due sessi, ma ciò che mi ha colpito fin dall'inizio è stata la gamma bassa. Il tappeto di basso/grancassa è spesso mal riproposto e la sovrapposizione dei due strumenti fa perdere parte del delicato lavoro sullo strumento di Alfredo Golino, che supera sé stesso nell'accompagnamento di questo brano, per sensibilità musicale. In questo caso invece tutto fila via liscio. Il pathos che Mina dovrebbe trasmettere è assolutamente rispettato dalle Emme (ma perché due lettere - Emme e Beta? Sembra che stiamo parlando di due cose diverse). Il prepotente ingresso del contrabbasso subito dopo l'esordio di De Andrè è potente ma pulito, così da lasciare la gamma media libera di esprimersi con la necessaria ariosità. Si apprezza perfettamente il coro vocale sotto la voce di De Andrè, che usualmente risulta oscurato dalle bordate in gamma bassa. La cara, vecchia e mai abbastanza rimpianta sospensione pneumatica colpisce ancora. Anzi, colpisce ed affonda! (gli altri, ovviamente). Perdiamo qualcosa alle frequenze più basse, ma guadagniamo enormemente in intelligibilità, cattiveria e chiarezza di tutto il messaggio sonoro sovrastante, riverberi delle voci compresi. Un buon affare, tutto sommato; comincio davvero a divertirmi come non mi capitava da tempo con componenti di questa fascia di mercato, fascia nella quale spesso i componenti non sono il "miracolo di qualità/prezzo" di alcune realizzazioni economiche, ma si barcamenano in una specie di limbo senza spiccare in nulla.

Quelle: http://www.videohifi.com/20_beta.htm



2001

Archiv: Jazz-Kritiken
Michel und Tony Petrucciani
Conversation Dreyfus/Edel Contraire FDM 0366172
(65 Min., aufgenommen 1992)
Er habe sich vermutlich mehr Wes-Montgomery-Themen und -Improvisationen rausgehört als die meisten Gitarristen, äußerte Michel Petrucciani mal gegenüber Ben Sidran. Der Grund: Das Familientrio der Petruccianis mit dem neunjährigen Michel am Klavier, dem Bruder am Bass und Vater Tony an der Gitarre war auf das Repertoire des Hardbop-Gitarristen abonniert.
"Conversation" dokumentiert in einem 1992 aufgezeichneten Duo-Konzert das musikalische Zusammenwirken zwischen dem berühmten Sohn und dessen "père et professeur". Dieser erweist sich in diesem Zwiegespräch als respektabler Jazzgitarrist, der die technischen und musikalischen Errungenschaften von Barney Kessel und Konsorten in einem persönlichen Stil hat aufgehen lassen. Auch wenn der direkte Vergleich mit dem Talent seines Sohnes für ihn unvorteilhaft ausfällt, spielt Tony Petrucciani eine schöne Gitarre "From Swing to Bop".
Abschreckend wirkt das Programm, versammelt es doch von "Summertime" bis "Satin Doll" fast nur solche Standards, die wegen inflationärer Verwendung verboten werden müssten. Doch in den sensiblen Konversationen zwischen dem gewohnt brillanten Michel Petrucciani und seinem Vater funkeln selbst solche angestaubten Kamellen in neuen Farben.
Jürgen Schwab, 29.3.2001



Michel & Tony Petrucciani - Conversation Michel & Tony Petrucciani
Autor: Christian Bakonyi
Quelle: Jazzzeit
Genre: Jazz
Produkttyp : CD
Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne... kommt mit voller Berechtigung auf den Markt, weil der Herr Papa tatsächlich soviel gitarristisches Können aufbringt, um mit seinem Sohn eine swingende, spannende musikalische Konversation aufzunehmen. Wunderbar, dass eines der Tourkonzerte in so hervorragender Qualität mitgeschnitten wurde. Man kann Vater Petrucciani nachfühlen, wenn er sagt: "Mit meinem Sohn auf Tour gewesen zu sein, war für mich eines der größten Ereignisse in meinem Leben." Wie groß die Vater-Sohn Liebe gewesen sein muss, läßt sich bei der Petrucciani Conversation leicht nachempfinden.



Amazon.com
The exciting French pianist Michel Petrucciani overcame the physical limitations of his bone-diseased body and played some incredible piano with the likes of Charles Lloyd and Wayne Shorter, and with his own groups, before his passing in 1999. This live recording captures the diminutive pianist performing with his father, guitarist Tony Petrucciani, whose sound and improvisations are a zesty Gallic blend of Django Reinhardt and Joe Pass. Together, father and son play with intimacy and improvisational ingenuity on George Gershwin's "Summertime," Charlie Parker's bop anthem "Billie's Bounce," and the eternal standard "All the Things You Are." On "Nuages," Tony Petrucciani's linear and lyrical guitar lines are showcased in a soulful solo setting, and on "Nardis," Michel Petrucciani shows off his unique symbiosis of Bill Evans's and Keith Jarrett's keyboard wizardry in an unaccompanied spotlight. The Petruccianis turn to the book of Miles Davis to deliver their best playing, transforming the waltzy "Someday My Prince Will Come" into a swinging family affair.
Eugene Holley Jr.



Released in 2001, although recorded in performance on November 10, 1992 at La Maison de la Danse, Conversation [Dreyfus FDM 36617-2] finds an adoring Michel in the company of the man who made life possible for him and also brought music into that life - Papa Tony Petrucciani.

Since the editorial staff of Jazz profiles did not think that it could improve on the following, moving review of this recording Don Williamson wrote for http://www.allaboutjazz.com/ it is shared here with some minor alterations.

"While I don't like to bring personal experiences into CD reviews, I may be forgiven for this one exception. Maybe not. When I listen to Conversation, I am reminded of watching Bucky and John Pizzarelli perform in a duo performance last fall ... [in what was to become a] celebration of his father's spirit [the concert] provided the greatest kind of public tribute possible. .... Music was a means for family communication and closeness.

Obviously, this isn't a review about the Pizzarelli duo. However, the same family connection appears to be present on Conversation, wherein father Tony and son Michel join in a performance that achieves more than the playing of notes or the accompaniment of one another or the entertainment of an audience. It puts on public display, and in public audio format, an understanding between the father who encouraged his son to play piano in spite of his serious physical handicaps-and who released his son to the world as the teenager joined Charles Lloyd half a world away. And the son reciprocates with love and appreciation during this concert in Lyon, France, in 1992. Even though the son is gone and the father survives, the recording exists as a documentation of their convergence of styles and similarities of spirit.

With the lightness and vigor of his rhythm guitar, Tony not only follows Michel, but also on "Summertime" he creates a casual sophistication the belies the technical mastery that they both exhibit. Somewhat similar in feel to Nat Cole's trio, the fact that the Petrucciani's lack a bass doesn't affect the movement of the performance. Michel slyly plays the bass lines himself as he improvises and alternates the chord changes with the left. This bi-dextral ability is most evident on "Billie's Bounce," on which father and son play the rippling bop lines in unison as Michel walks his left hand in reference to the double-bass function. Even as he solos, his single-noted left-hand accents never cease.

Even as they respectfully comp behind the other and trade choruses on tunes like "My Funny Valentine" or "Someday My Prince Will Come" (a song perfectly suited to the sound of this duo), they allow the audience to hear each musician singly. Tony solos on "Nuages," recalling the French lineage of guitar interpretations of Django Reinhardt's tune. By the same token, Michel interprets Miles Davis' "Nardis" on his own, wrapping twists and turns into the musical portrait that he paints, the final half tone resolution an insistent motive within the tune.

In honor of the occasion of the father-and-son tour, Tony wrote "Michel's Blues," the structure of the tune serving as the basis for the familial interchange. Its complexity isn't as important as the fact that it allows for them to have fun with it, one lick inspiring the other to pick it up and embellish it.

Track listing: Summertime, Sometime Ago, All The Things You Are, My Funny Valentine, Nuages, Nardis, Michel's Blues, Someday My Prince Will Come, Billie's Bounce, Satin Doll"
Quelle: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/search?q=Petrucciani



2003

Miller / Petrucciani / Lagrene / White / Garrett - Dreyfus Night in Paris
Autor: Christian Bakonyi
Quelle: Jazzzeit
Genre: Jazz
Produkttyp : CD
Dieser Live-Konzert-Mitschnitt aus dem Jahr 1994 besteht aus drei Stücken, nämlich Marcus Millers "Tutu" und "The king is gone" und Michel Petruccianis "Looking up". Die CD ist mit einer Laufzeit von 50 Minuten zwar nicht randvoll, spart sich so aber eventuelle musikalische Leerläufe. Was hier Marcus Miller, b, Michel Petrucciani, p, Birelli Lagrene, g, Kenny Garrett, s, und Lenny White, b, zum Besten geben, erinnert stark an das mittlerweile nicht mehr erhältliche Manhattan Project, bei dem damals Lenny White, Stanley Clarke und der noch sehr junge Petrucciani spannende Musik gemeinsam mit Wayne Shorter auf Tonträger zauberten. "Tutu" als Opener bringt exzellente Soli aller Beteiligten, faszinierend fesselnd, mit unbändiger Spiellaune. Jazz wie er sich live präsentieren soll, gespielt von Superstars der Szene, die nicht umsonst als solche gehandelt werden, wovon man sich beim Hören dieses Konzerts leicht überzeugen kann. Außerdem ist die Dreyfus Night ein tolles Erinnerungsstück an Michel Petrucciani, der wirklich eine große Lücke in der Sparte Jazzpiano hinterlassen hat.



Reviews:
"The performances are galvanizing, always fascinating, with the disparate styles of Lagrene, Garrett and Petrucciani constantly probing in search of creative compatibility."
-- Los Angeles Times by Don Heckman

"Shows of this type aim for crowd excitement, but this one doesn't thrash and bash. It coheres through three long performances, with each soloist making a controlled, self-contained statement and stepping aside. The rhythm section cultivates an air of expectancy, its pulse marked by periods of high energy and subsidence. Albums of this type often contain more heat than light, but this one frequently engages the intellect as well as the body."
-- News Observer by Owen Cordle

"Marcus supports the group on 'Tutu,' blows boldly on "The King Is Gone" (his tribute to Miles), and slaps a serious samba groove and solo on Petrucciani's 'Looking Up.'"
-- Bass Player Magazine by Chris Jisi



Miller, Marcus, Petrucciani, Michel: Dreyfus Night in Paris
Dreyfus Night In Paris is a gem of a CD that provides the excitement that is too often missing from all star blowing sessions. The reason for this is likely not only the talent of the musicians individually, but the way in which they are able to become a really outstanding ensemble even though they certainly hadn't rehearsed for this concert. Any group anchored by bassist Marcus Miller and drummer Lenny White is going to be capable of swinging and of providing some righteous funk, and saxophonist Kenny Garrett can make himself at home in any environment. Gypsy guitarist Bireli Lagrene and French pianist Michel Petrucciani add their very individual voices to the group while fitting perfectly into the ensemble sound.
Two of the pieces performed are composed by Marcus Miller. The opening number, "Tutu" has achieved the status of a modern jazz classic in the years since Miles Davis and Miller first committed it to record. That it sounds just as good with acoustic piano and nary a synthesizer in sight is testament to its timeless beauty as a composition. Garrett, himself a Miles alumni, takes a good solo on this one, and both Lagrene and Petrucciani do well with the tune, with Miller himself providing the final solo turn.
"The King Is Gone" is a slower number that is introduced by the hushed sound of White's brushwork. After the melodic statement Miller plays a bass solo over the swinging accompaniment of White and Petrucciani. Next soloist up is Petrucciani, and he builds nicely in a short period, only to recede for Garrett's soprano sax entrance. Garrett delivers the goods in his solo, keeping things interesting rhythmically. Lagrene comes on like a mix of Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, and Jim Hall, and his solo is well received by the audience. After a brief drum solo the piece ends with a mournful statement by Miller on bass clarinet and Garrett on soprano.
The final tune is a Petrucciani composition entitled "Looking Up." It begins in with something of a gospel feel but quickly turns into a breezy melody with a Caribbean beat. Miller's popping bass is a little out of step here, very much at odds with what the other musicians are doing here, but that's a relatively small complaint. The piece allows the five musicians to solo on a piece with a decidedly different mood, and they all take advantage of the opportunity. As the piece builds in intensity it's hard not to imagine people up and dancing in the aisles.
Dreyfus Night In Paris is one of those rare treasures that delight the jazz fan who finds that many CDs fail to live up to their expectations. It arrives without fanfare and delivers a truly enjoyable listening experience without pretension. If the promise of this CD lies mainly in its lineup of musicians, it delivers on that promise with a performance in which each musician is featured, each plays up to their ability, and each contributes to the sound of the group as a whole.





Wie die Schaumkrone auf einer gewaltigen Woge
"Dreyfus Night in Paris": Marcus Miller & Michel Petrucciani
24.10.2003
Feuilleton - Seite 13
Philipp Schwenke

Michel Petrucciani war der große, kleine Mann am Klavier. Gezeichnet von seiner Glasknochenkranheit und nur wenig größer als ein Kleinkind, zauberte er aus seinem Instrument Improvisationen, die perlten, swingten, leuchteten. Im kommenden Januar ist es fünf Jahre her, dass Petrucciani in Paris an einer Lungenentzündung starb. Fast zwanzig Platten hatte er bis zu seinem Tod veröffentlicht, aber, das sagt sein Plattenlabel Dreyfus, "da ist noch einiges in den Archiven".
Zum Beispiel die Aufnahme vom 7. Juli 1994, von der zweiten "Dreyfus Night" im Pariser Palais des Sports, die jetzt in Deutschland erschienen ist. Petrucciani war an diesem Abend Bandleader und Master of Ceremonies eines formidablen Quintetts rund um einen formidablen Bassisten: Marcus Miller.
Schon Miles Davis, Grover Washington jr. und Luther Vandross vertrauten auf Miller, weil er den Bass pumpen und scheppern lassen kann wie wenige sonst. Weil er eine Band zusammenhalten kann und brillante Solos spielt. Und weil er Melodien schreibt, die hängen blieben. "Tutu" zum Beispiel, von Miles Davis gleichnamigem Album, stammt von ihm, und "Tutu" eröffnet auch die "Dreyfus Night in Paris". Miller und Drummer Lenny White rollen den breiten, vertrackten Groove instinktsicher aus, jeder Ton, jeder Break sitzt. Die beiden sind schließlich schon Ende der siebziger Jahre zusammen auf Tour gegangen, da gibt es so etwas wie blindes Spielverständnis. Genauso selbstverständlich lässt auch Kenny Garret am Saxofon die Melodie einfliegen, lässt Michel Petrucciani kleine Fills und große Soli fallen. So gut war "Tutu" selbst auf Millers eigenem Live-Album nicht.
Petrucciani, der Miller spielt, funktioniert; auch bei "The King Is Gone". Millers Stücke sind groove-orientiert, Petruccianis Flügel klingt dazu wie die Schaumkrone auf einer gewaltigen Woge. Er nimmt die Bassläufe auf, dreht sie dreimal durch seine Finger und lässt wieder aus dem Flügel rollen. Millers Bass lässt Oberkörper wippen, Petruccianis Flügel schmeichelt den Ohren.
Umgekehrt klappt das Zusammenspiel allerdings nicht ganz so reibungslos. "Looking up" hat Petrucciani komponiert, ein flockiges, leichtes Thema, zu dem Millers schnalzender Bass nur so einigermaßen passt. Es dauert fast acht Minuten, bis die fünf klingen wie eine Band und nicht wie ein paar Musiker, die zufällig über die gleichen Akkorde improvisieren.
Trotzdem ist "Dreyfus Night in Paris" eine beeindruckende Session mit hervorragend aufgelegten Musikern. Es wird wohl nicht die letzte Aufnahme sein, die von Petrucciani zu hören ist. Da soll ja noch einiges in den Archiven liegen.
Marcus Miller & Michel Petrucciani: Dreyfus Night in Paris (Dreyfus Jazz/ Soulfood); Marcus Miller spielt am Sonnabend und Sonntag im Quasimodo, jeweils um 22 Uhr.
Millers Bass lässt Oberkörper wippen, Petruccianis Flügel schmeichelt den Ohren.



2004

Au cours d'une interview, Michel Petrucciani évoquait le souvenir suivant: "Je me souviens, à l'âge de huit ans, avoir dit à mon père en pleurant : Je n'arrête pas d'entendre de la musique en moi. Comme une radio sans fin. Je vivais alors un vrai cauchemar. Mon père m'a simplement dit : C'est bien. Profite de ce don ". Il a su cultiver ce don de la musique par un travail acharné et par une vitalité incroyable qui lui ont permis de dépasser ses handicaps et d'être en moins de deux décennies le pianiste le plus important de la fin du 20ème siècle.
Michel Petrucciani naît dans une famille de musiciens de jazz : son père, Tony, est guitariste, ses frères Philippe et Louis sont respectivement guitariste et contrebassiste. Malgré L'exemple paternel et fraternel, c'est pourtant vers le piano que se porte, de façon précoce et affirmé, le choix de Michel. A l'age de quatre ans, il voit Duke Ellington à la télévision et demande à son père le même instrument que le pianiste. Souhait que ses parents pensent satisfaire en lui offrant à Noël un piano jouet. Le désir profond de l'enfant à jouer sur un vrai piano va se manifester clairement et rapidement d'un coup de marteau fatal au jouet. Son père s'empresse alors de récupérer un vieux piano, laissé à l'abandon sur la base militaire où il travaille et l'adapte pour que les pieds de l'enfant puissent atteindre les pédales. Vers l'âge de sept ans, il lui procure un piano de meilleure qualité acheté d'occasion à un médecin. Il prend exclusivement des cours de piano classique pendant 8 ans. Il avoue plus tard : " Etudier le piano de façon classique apporte une discipline et de développe une technique. On y apprend à prendre l'instrument au sérieux. Mais j'ai vite été lassé des concours et des compétitions. Le milieu de la musique classique était trop bourgeois à mon goût ". S'il se révèle un musicien prodige, c'est autant à force d'un travail acharné qu'à un talent naturel. " Je pouvais rester à mon piano pendant 5 à 6 heures par jour et cela n'a cessé d'augmenter avec les années " révéla-t'il.
Ce travail personnel s'est nourri de son amour pour le jazz. Vers les 10 ans, il se passionne pour la musique du pianiste de jazz Bill Evans chez qui il retrouve certainement une familiarité avec les musiques de Ravel, Debussy et Bach qu'il adore par ailleurs. Le pianiste américain aura une grande influence sur la musique de ses débuts de carrière ... qui interviennent 3 ans après. Il n'a en effet que 13 ans quand il propose ses services au trompettiste américain Clark Terry. La scène se passe au festival de jazz de Cliouscat. Clark Terry, en manque de pianiste pour assurer son set, voit arriver un gamin qu'on est allé chercher pour remplacer le pianiste défaillant et croit, on le comprend, à une bonne blague. Jouant le jeu de l'humour, il commence sur un air de corrida. Michel l'interrompt en disant " Jouons un blues ! ". Quelques minutes plus tard, Clark Terry, terrassé par un tel talent, étreint le jeune garçon. Adoubé par l'une des légendes de la trompette, Michel Petrucciani, 13ans, vient de rentrer dans la famille des musiciens de jazz professionnel... Dès lors, le jeune musicien dévore les étapes avec cet appétit pour la vie, la musique et les relations humaines qui, plus que toute autre de ses nombreuses qualités, le caractérise si bien. Il joue partout en France et dans les festivals européens, multiplie les rencontres. A 16 ans, il fait celle du batteur Aldo Romano, son " ange gardien " qui l'entoure de son affection et de ses conseils. Ainsi Michel ne tarde pas à s'installer à Paris où peut se développer au mieux sa carrière. Un an plus tard, il y publie son premier enregistrement " Flash " avec la complicité de Mike Zwerin et Aldo Romano. Aldo le présente alors à Jean-Jacques Pussiau, un jeune producteur qui a lancé Owl Records, un label de jazz qui, au-delà d'un goût sans faille dans la direction artistique, tranche dans le paysage discographique par le soin porté à la production sonore et au graphisme des pochettes. C'est le début d'une fructueuse collaboration qui va se traduire par la parution de 6 albums entre 1981 et 1985 dont des chefs-d'œuvre comme le splendide " Toot Sweet ", duo avec le saxophoniste Lee Konitz.
La France et Paris conquis, son irrésistible vitalité le pousse en 1982 à conquérir maintenant les Etats-Unis. Il débarque à New York mais, fort d'une adresse sûre en Californie que lui a donnée un ami musicien, il ne tarde pas à traverser le continent. C'est l'adresse de Charles Lloyd, immense saxophoniste qui avait révélé le talent de Keith Jarrett, ce qu'ignore alors le jeune pianiste. La rencontre est une révélation pour les deux protagonistes qui passe les premières 48 heures non-stop à jouer ensemble. Début d'une collaboration qui sort Lloyd de sa retraite et qui va durer 5 années et donner 3 témoignages discographiques. Comme Aldo l'avait été en France, Charles Lloyd va se révéler un sésame de premier ordre pour le lancement de carrière du pianiste aux Etats-Unis. Très rapidement, c'est à dire à son allure normale, Michel se fait un nom dans la mère-patrie du jazz. Il a 23 ans quand il est remarqué par le label Blue Note où il est le premier français à signer. Appuyé par un tel label, sa carrière prend un coup d' accélération. Il devient une tête d'affiche des festivals internationaux, multiplie les rencontres scéniques et/ou les enregistrements avec tout ce que compte le gotha du jazz contemporain (citons entre autres les bassistes Gary Peacock, Eddie Gomez, Stanley Clarke, Charlie Haden, les batteurs Jack DeJohnette, Al Foster, Roy Haynes, les saxophonistes Lee Konitz, Joe Henderson, Gerry Mulligan, Wayne Shorter, le guitaristes Jim Hall, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, les tromettistes Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie,...). Les honneurs et les distinctions suivent : " Jazzman of the Year " pour le Los Angeles Times en 1983, " Best European Jazz Musician " pour l'Office Culturel du gouvernement Italien, " Prix Django Reinhardt ", " Victoires de la Musique " à multiples reprises.
Après un premier opus " Pianism ", enregistré fin 1985, où il expose sa conception du trio pianistique avec Eliot Zigmund (l'un des derniers batteurs de Bill Evans) et Palle Danielsson (cf. titre 1 de notre sélection), Blue Note l'enregistre l'été suivant dans le cadre du Festival de Montreux dans une formule inhabituelle, en compagnie du guitariste Jim Hall et du saxophoniste Wayne Shorter. Le titre de l'album " Power Of Three " n'est pas usurpé (cf. titre 2 de notre sélection). Deux ans après paraît l'album " Michel Plays Petrucciani " (cf. titre 3 de la notre sélection) avec deux magnifiques sections rythmiques (Gary Peacock/Roy Haynes et Eddie Gomez/Al Foster). Avec " Music " publié l'année suivante manifeste une toute autre ambition avec une orchestration qui comprend basse électrique, percussions, accordéon et synthé et voix ce qui rompt avec le cadre intimiste de ses précédent albums. L'album très dansant, très coloré est un immense succès qui dépasse très largement le cadre des amateurs de jazz et donne au pianiste l'auditoire grand public dont il rêvait (cf. titre 4). Dans la même veine aventureuse, parâit " Playground " en 1991 (cf. titre 5). Deux ans après, il sort un album solo de toute beauté en hommage à celui qui avait suscité son amour du piano, Duke Ellington (cf. titre 7). Cet album clôt sa collaboration avec le label Blue Note qu'il quitte pour le label français Dreyfus auquel il restera fidèle jusqu'à son décès. De 1994 à 1999, il y enregistre des disques qui font date, notamment " Conférence de presse ", ses enregistrements avec l'organiste Eddy Louis, " Flamingo " qui documente sa rencontre avec Stéphane Grapelli (disque d'or) et " Both Worlds ", un album en sextet sur des arrangements de Bob Brookmeyer. Son succès ne se dément pas jusqu'à son décès précoce, le 6 janvier 1999, à New York des suites d'une infection pulmonaire.



2004

SO WHAT: The Best of Michel Petrucciani.
"So What: The Best Of Michel Petrucciani."
In Stores June 8, 2004.

"In this loving anthology, I wanted to revive Michel as he was and as I love him - multi-faceted and always unique. I wanted to show Michel in all his vividness and sparkle. Full of fire and life when playing by himself, or in the warmth of dialogue with musicians who admired him passionately, like Eddy Louiss, Stéphane Grappelli and, of course, his father Tony, a man whom Michel never ceased to thank for allowing him to become what he was - an improviser in full flower, an exceptional seeker of emotions, and a magnificent artist of the people." - Francis Dreyfus

Petrucciani signed with Dreyfus in 1993, and entered the studio with bassist Dave Holland, drummer Tony Williams and a string quartet to record Marvellous, from which we hear "Why," a surging bossa with a lilting melody. In the booklet notes the pianist wrote: "I decided to make a record that would be the result of my experiment with melody and rhythm, marble and crystal, both beautiful and so complementary, the string quartet by its fragility giving force to the trio. I mean: Like a man and a woman."

"Summertime" and "Les Grelots" are from Conférence de Presse, Volumes 1 and 2, documenting a deeply swinging three-night engagement at the Paris club Petit Journal Montparnasse between Petrucciani and legendary French organist Eddy Louiss. "Laissez le bon temps roulez" was evidently the order of the day. Spurred by Louiss' irresistible vamps and basslines, Petrucciani places his exquisite touch, time feel, and harmonic subtlety on full display.

In June 1995, the former Django Reinhardt Prize winner joined forces with Reinhardt's musical alter-ego, violinist Stephane Grappelli, and the master bass-drum tandem of George Mraz and Roy Haynes in the studios to for Flamingo. Here they improvise brilliantly on crackling versions of Petrucciani's "Little Peace In C For U," an ingenious "I Got Rhythm" variant, and "Pennies From Heaven," previously available only on a promotional CD.

In the first part of 1997, Petrucciani toured as a soloist in Germany, Italy, and France, as well as the festival circuit. "Brazilian-Like," "Looking Up" and "Besame Mucho" come from a February 1997 Frankfurt recital that Dreyfus issued in 1998 as Solo: Live In Germany. Playing with unrestrained freedom and creativity, Petrucciani is in efflorescent form. "This is one of those rare performances in which every note seems felt, and literally sings with passion," said the Downbeat review." Schwann Spectrum observed that "while [Petrucciani] dazzles with a disciplined sense of swing, he never forgets the joy.

"Petrucciani spent the latter portion of 1997 touring with a Euro-American sextet featuring bassist Anthony Jackson, drummer Steve Gadd, valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, trumpeter Flavio Boltro, and saxophonist Stefano di Battista . Featuring Brookmeyer arrangements of nine Petrucciani originals, Both Worlds documents the latter project, so titled, in the words of annotator Thierry Peremarti, to signify a way "to juxtapose distinct (id)entities and unite the best of reciprocal geographical and cultural elements." Brookmeyer seems to channel the spirit of the great bop arranger Tadd Dameron on "Chloé Meets Gershwin," which blends the iconic Maurice Ravel refrain with "A Foggy Day," setting up a rousing shout chorus at the conclusion of an intense Petrucciani solo that shows how deeply he could groove on bebop vocabulary.

Both unfailingly melodic and swinging performances, "So What" and "Home" come from the posthumously issued Trio in Tokyo, documenting an ebullient performance by Petrucciani, Jackson and Gadd at Tokyo's Blue Note in November 1997. "A lot of musicians have a playing style that is too egotistical," Pascal Anquetil quotes Petrucciani in the booklet notes. "They play just for themselves and an elite happy few. I play to give pleasure and to communicate. I like to think of myself as a very happy person. That's why it is so important to me to pass along and give to others the generosity that is indispensable in art, music, and life."

In 1992, Petrucciani played a duo tour with his father, Tony, called "Like Father, Like Son." "It gave me at last the real joy of telling him, 'Now it's my turn to take your hand and introduce you to the public.'" Petrucciani noted to a writer. Drawn from a concert in Lyon, France, that Dreyfus issued posthumously in 2000 on the CD Conversation, Antoine Petrucciani's "Michael's Blues" is the penultimate track of So What. The dialogue is spontaneous and heartfelt. "I will never thank my father enough for having brought me up just like my two brothers, without special privileges," Petrucciani said. "Now I am grateful to him for having been so strict and demanding of me. He taught me everything. He let me discover all of the great jazzmen, feel and experience music intensely, understand that the life of an artist is one of work, requiring effort and a lot of energy. If I am what I am now, it is because I have done my best to achieve what my father expected of me."

"Michel had the very rare capacity of being immediately at the top of his game, which is the mark of the greatest," says Serge Forté, recalling his 1990 duo recording with the maestro, and parenthetically describing the aura of So What. "The pressure he put on himself because of his short life expectancy gave him an incredible force which he released while playing and enabled him to live 10 years longer than the most optimistic forecasts. His natural happiness also helped him a lot. It is this mixture of force, happiness and maturity which I still retain from him, and which I try to be inspired from every day."



So What: The Best of Michel Petrucciani
Michel Petrucciani

By Aaron Rodgers

Bill Evans wrote in the liner notes for his Grammy Award-winning album Alone that "to understand music most profoundly one only has to be listening well." If you listen to an Evans album and follow it with So What, you will understand well that Evans' music lived in the small but profound hands of Michel Petrucciani.

So What is a recorded odyssey of Petrucciani's work on Dreyfus Jazz; a compilation that shows a well-seasoned jazz pianist playing beautifully in the style of his influences like Evans, Ellington, Debussy, and Ravel. Throughout the album, Petrucciani's playing is so spirited and disciplined, like his piano predecessors, that a first-time listener would never know that he was afflicted with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as glass bone disease. The disease ultimately led to Petrucciani's death in 1999 when he was only 36, but it didn't stop him from becoming an accomplished musician who had a joie de vivre, as his French countrymen would say.

So What opens up with a Gershwin standard, "Summertime," featuring a duet with a long-time companion of Petrucciani, French jazz organist extraordonaire Eddy Louiss. Petrucciani solos on "Summertime" with a light swing, but he cascades across the keyboard very strongly with Tin Pan Alley stride. Louiss plays the warm, mellow tone of the organ in a stop-and-start bebop style while Petrucciani comps aggressively. "Summertime" and "Les Grelots" (also featuring a duet with Louiss) were originally taken from a three-night show at the Paris club Petit Journal Montparnasse.

"Home" and "So What," extracted from Petrucciani's Trio In Toyko, feature popular session drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Anthony Jackson. The trio's rendition of "So What" is energetic, even without front line horns. Petrucciani states the famous modal chorus and then breaks into a heavily classical influenced solo that sounds more like the Romantic pianist Debussy than Evans' original solo on Davis's "So What."

The rest of So What features live Petrucciani originals in Germany; a duet with Petrucciani's father, Tony, on guitar; and an all-star quartet featuring fellow French violinist Stephane Grappelli, bebop legend/drummer Roy Haynes, and bassist George Mraz. So What is an outstanding overview of the diverse, but well-grounded musical palette and channeled technique from which Petrucciani created vivid jazz piano improvisations.

Quelle: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=13990



Hommage à Michel Petrucciani

«So What» ist der Titel einer neuen CD des im Januar 1999 verstorbenen französischen Pianisten Michel Petrucciani, die jetzt bei Dreyfus Jazz/Soulfood erschienen ist.

25.01.2004
Von Françoise Letroite

Paris (kobinet) Die neue CD «So What» mit einigen der besten Titel von Michel Petrucciani aus dem Fundus von Dreyfus wurde in Paris als Hommage für den so früh verstorbenen Jazzpianisten aufgenommen. Unter dem Motto «Best of» zeigt dieses Album Petrucciani als Solist am Flügel oder mit verschiedenen Musikern. Darunter sind bisher unveröffentlichte Aufnahmen, zum Beispiel mit dem Geiger Stéphane Grappelli, dem Bassisten George Mraz und dem Schlagzeuger Roy Haynes.
Michel Petrucciani, so Staatspräsident Jacques Chirac, wird in Frankreich verehrt als «musikalisches Genie, das die Sprache des Jazz erneuert hat». Sein Grab neben anderen berühmten Persönlichkeiten des 20. Jahrhunderts auf dem Friedhof Père Lachaise in Paris ist Pilgerstätte für Fans aus aller Welt. Die französische Post hat vor zwei Jahren eine Briefmarke mit einem Porträt herausgegeben, das den kleinen großen Mann wie bei vielen seiner Konzerte mit Hut zeigt. Michel Petrucciani war in der Nacht vom 5. zum 6. Januar 1999 in einem New Yorker Krankenhaus im Alter von 36 Jahren an den Folgen einer Lungenentzündung gestorben. Sein Plan, eine Jazzschule für junge Leute zu eröffnen, blieb unverwirklicht. sch



CITY PAGES
Volume 25 - Issue 1234 - CD Review

Michel Petrucciani:
So What: Best of Michel Petrucciani
by Britt Robson
July 28, 2004

Listening to Michel Petrucciani pound the ivories with fleet, dexterous precision, you'd never guess he was just a yard tall, weighed about 60 pounds, and was afflicted with glass bones--or, more formally, osteogenesis imperfecta. But in some important respects, Petrucciani's condition shaped his artistry. Until he died in January 1999 at the age of 36, he played with the passion, ego, and all-embracing brio of a person who knew his time was precious.
Although some critics begrudge Petrucciani his refusal to linger by decrying a lack of soulfulness in his work, I find his romanticism empathetically rich, almost never cloying, and infectiously joyful. So What, which culls 13 tracks from eight CDs he made for the French Dreyfus label during the last six years of his career, is a rewarding primer for the uninitiated. Petrucciani's early recordings for Blue Note and Owl were occasionally too much in thrall to the august modal motifs of his idol, Bill Evans. His bolder and more mature Dreyfus material also incorporates the sort of prancing single-note phrases McCoy Tyner throws between his rumbling chordal passages, plus a challenging yet accessible melodic imagination reminiscent of Herbie Hancock.
The intricate nuances of ensemble interplay that are so crucial to the bebop ethos are not Petrucciani's forte. He is not a particularly keen accompanist nor does he require much accompaniment, which is why So What's four solo tunes are all self-contained gems. A pair of duets with the burbling organist Eddy Louiss are distinctive and fruitful, especially a rendition of "Summertime" that gives the hoary standard new melodic innovation. The same thing happens on Miles Davis's oft-recorded "So What," in which the pianist deploys staccato vamps and ascending phrases to heighten and then swoop away the dramatic tension. The rhythm section on that marvelous track is formed by Steve Gadd and Anthony Jackson, who are often derided for their simplistic, fusion-oriented tendencies. But their "wet" (if still relatively restrained) approach works beautifully with the pianist. The trio also modestly shines on "Home," a Petrucciani original that takes you from the quiet contemplation at the beginning of a journey home to the eager elation felt as the destination looms into view. It's suffused in soulfulness, Petrucciani-style.



2007

Piano Solo - The Complete Concert in Germany
sortie mars 2007 (Dreyfus Jazz / Dreyfus Jazz)

Produktinfo
Im MÄRZ 2007 feierte DREYFUS JAZZ sein 15th Anniversary !
Ein besonderer Künstler gratulierte auf wundervolle Art, mit der Jubiläumsausgabe seiner Solo-Live-CDs: Als einmalige Sensation erscheint die komplette Aufnahme des Konzertes in der Alten Oper (Frankfurt) mit noch nie zuvor gehörten 35 Minuten Extraspielzeit !!!



Enregistrée à Francfort moins d'une année avant sa disparition, cette nouvelle référence live en solo de la discographie de Petrucciani ne lève que partiellement l'hypothèque de la carrière d'un artiste qui fut, tour à tour, considéré avec une curiosité malsaine, adulé et transformé en icône. On admet désormais que le Méridional fut une absolue tête de lard, et sa maladie et la douleur qui vint pour ne plus repartir n'y changèrent rien. La vie à hauteur de piano lui fut souffrance, joie, amertume et succès. Au-delà de l'émotion (on perçoit ici la respiration difficile du pianiste tout au long de l'enregistrement), on peut également convenir que Petrucciani, grâce ou à cause de ses capacités techniques, gérait parfois sans discernement le bouillonnement expressionniste qui jaillissait de ses doigts.
La version du Caravan d'Ellington perd ainsi toute sensualité, au profit d'une éruption parfois hors de propos, comme des gifles retentissantes sur l'ivoire. Mais s'il donnait parfois davantage à penser qu'à ressentir, celui qui considérait enfant son piano comme un monstre effroyablement denté offre aussi l'histoire sur clavier d'une vie de morgue, d'un combat rageur et nécessaire. Michel Petrucciani ne croyait pas au génie, seulement au dur travail : cet album double démontre que, parfois, ces derniers s'épousent en musique.

Christian Larrède
10 mars 2007



FAZ
"Petrucciani war der womöglich vollkommenste körperliche Stilist unter den jüngeren Jazzpianisten."

Süddeutsche Zeitung
"Technisch versiert, war ihm keine Akkordsalve zu kompliziert, kein Lauf zu hurtig, keine Ballade zu verträumt."

Die Welt
"Michel Petrucciani, der Gesellige, der Entertainer aus Paris. Er war als Klassizist am besten aufgehoben im Jazz."

Hamburger Morgenpost
"Wie aber Michel Petrucciani dem Jazz fehlt, das beweist diese stark erweiterte Version seines 1997 erschienenen Frankfurter Solo-Konzertes. Schöne Edition und eine bewegende Erinnerung an einen der wichtigsten und charmantesten Jazzer der vergangenen 30 Jahre."

STERN
Michel Petrucciani - Solo Piano - The Complete Concert In Germany
Sein Wuchs war klein, und zerbrechlich waren seine Knochen. Als Jazzpianist aber war Michel Petrucciani ein Gigant: Erstmals erscheint nun mit "Piano Solo" (Dreyfus) die komplette Aufnahme seines 1997er Konzerts in der Alten Oper Frankfurt auf zwei CDs. Fabelhaft !
Tobias Schmitz



Recorded in Frankfurt, Germany on the last night of a triumphant tour, Michel Petrucciani's Solo Live CD has gone on to become one of his most successful and best loved recordings.
Upon it's original release, DownBeat Magazine touted it as "one of those rare performances in which every note seems felt, and literally sings with passion. If you want a fond keepsake of a pianist whose passing has left a gaping hole in many hearts. . .pick up this live album of a breathtaking 1997 solo concert in Frankfurt." Critic Clarke Bustard proclaimed Solo Live "...one of the essential jazz piano recordings of the decade."

On this new edition, Dreyfus has made available the full, unedited concert giving us an unprecedented opportunity to grasp the unique talent of Michel Petrucciani.

With 35 minutes of exclusive tracks, never before published, Piano Solo - The Complete Concert in Germany has the artist performing for "high stakes" in the solo format. Michel liked to say that he played at a "world championship" level (to ward off his stage fright), and this recording is certainly evidence of this.

No one in the history of great pianists/composers/performers had to fight such a physical handicap, where pain was always present. He developed such a unique touch, and an improbably strength. Listen to Piano Solo and be amazed!

Amazon.com: Editorial Reviews



2007

Michel Petrucciani
Non Stop Travels/Trio Live in Stuttgart
Dreyfus Records
2008

The phenomenon that was pianist Michel Petrucciani (b. December 28th, 1962, d. January 6th, 1999) is brought to life by this double-feature DVD from Dreyfus Records. Containing the hour-long documentary (Non-Stop Travels With Michel Petrucciani) that aired on many PBS television stations and a concert performance (Michel Petrucciani Trio: Live In Concert) in Germany, this wonderful DVD brings clarity to the person and musician that was Petrucciani.

The single strongest emotion that keeps pouring forth as Petrucciani speaks and plays is his enormous talent and forever optimistic and humorous demeanor trapped in a body with a degenerative bone disease that would fail him before he turned forty. His mind, musical and otherwise, and hands were gifts from God, and everyone who knew him or heard him play simply felt a strong connection to something inexplicable though no less extraordinary.

This DVD includes other musicians, and in the documentary, Petrucciani tells his familiar story of traveling to California when he was teenager in the early eighties and meeting saxophonist Charles Lloyd, who had been retired from music for fifteen years. Lloyd asked Petrucciani to play, disappearing after listening for a short while. Petrucciani thought he had bored Lloyd, but Lloyd had gone to the basement to get his sax, and they played together until the early morning hours, bringing tears to the eyes of Lloyd's wife.

Subsequently, Lloyd began touring with Petrucciani, and credits him with his returning to the music business. The documentary brings them together again almost twenty years later as they revive their friendship sitting in the tall grass of Big Sur.

Woven into the documentary is a solo outdoor concert and a rehearsal for the recording session for Flamingo (Dreyfus, 1996), with violinist Stephane Grappelli, drummer Roy Haynes and bassist George Mraz. Both performances reinforce the energy that Petrucciani channeled into his playing.

While Petrucciani the man comes through vividly in the documentary, the concert with his trio of electric bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Steve Gadd displays his enormous musicianship. Filmed with crystal visual clarity and great sound, Petrucciani entrances the full house of the Kultur Und Kongresszentrum Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Germany.

Barely being able to see over the piano, and needing a pedal extension invented by his father, Petrucciani plays with intensity that pours out of the piano. Most apparent is his gift for making every note sing, even in the fastest passages, while tying it to an unerring sense of swing and a strong forward propulsion. The viewer will notice that he is relentlessly humorous in person yet utterly serious at the keyboard, giving each note and phrase a bounce that scintillates. Another strong point of Petrucciani's playing that comes through on the disc is its unpredictability, which exists, however, within a strong melodic and dramatic framework.

Those who know Petrucciani will find in this DVD a record of the artist at the height of his powers. For those who do not know this remarkable man, this is a fine place to start.

Quelle: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=28187



2008

FILE UNDER PETRUCCIANI - A specially priced package showcasing two French piano masters in their natural element - live and in front of an audience.

- Conversation captures Michel Petrucciani from the historic 1992 tour that he made with his father, guitarist Tony Petrucciani. The warm exchange between father and son make this a standout recording in the Michel Petrucciani catalog.

- This package also introduces rising star Jean-Michel Pilc's Live At The Iridium, New York. From his extended run at the venerable New York club in October 2005, Pilc shocks, swoons and surprises with his blockbuster trio featuring Mark Mondesir (John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck) on drums and Thomas Bramerie on bass.



2009

Michel PETRUCCIANI
Duo with NHOP

Voilà déjà dix ans que Michel nous manque. Sa générosité sans fond, son lyrisme ardent, son swing jubilatoire, sa passion de la communication immédiate avec le public comme avec ses musiciens. C'est pour cela qu'on est heureux de le retrouver tel qu'en lui-même dans ce duo impromptu avec NHOP. La rencontre de deux artistes d'exception qui se découvrent avec bonheur lors d'un concert au Jazzhouse de Copenhague ne peut être une expérience anodine. C'est une épreuve de vérité qui ne trompe pas.

Elle invite à poser quatre questions qui taraudent toute l'aventure du jazz.

Qu'est-ce qu'un grand pianiste de jazz ?
C'est une personnalité forte que l'on identifie d'emblée, grâce à la griffe du son, la signature du toucher, la vigueur percussive de l'attaque. Dés les premières notes d'introduction de « All The Things You Are », on sait que c'est Michel au piano. On le reconnaît à son allant, son allure vive et lyrique. On le reconnaît à la fluidité et l'amplitude de ses phrases où l'on peut toujours entendre distinctement chaque note. Il y a dans son jeu un perpétuel balancement entre force et délicatesse, mesure et démesure, puissance et nuance, urgence et patience, gaieté et gravité.

Michel jouait merveilleusement les ballades. Il n'est que d'écouter sa version d' « Autumn Leaves » pour s'en convaincre. Un grand romantique qui délivre une idée euphorisante du jazz avec toujours ce voile de tristesse. « Romantic But Not Blue » pour reprendre le titre de l'une des « chansons ».

Qu'est-ce qu'un grand contrebassiste ?
« La contrebasse, a écrit Francis Marmande, c'est la voix de mon père dans le corps de ma mère ». C'est le pouls essentiel, le cœur nucléaire. Cette voix autonome, prépondérante, qui distribue le temps et les harmonies. Avec Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, trop tôt disparu à l'âge de 58 ans en avril 2005, la contrebasse a touché une forme de perfection. La virtuosité la plus fluide (il pouvait pincer les quatre cordes de son manche avec les quatre doigts de sa main droite) alliée à la musicalité la plus libre. Ceci explique que le géant danois ait joué avec tout le gotha du jazz moderne. Du coup, son nom interminable s'est imposé au monde par sa réduction en quatre initiales : NHOP. Tout est parfait dans son jeu : rondeur et splendeur du son, justesse et drive inégalés, agilité mélodique, vélocité chantante, art de l'envol sur des cordes d'acier délivrant des walking bass impeccables de rigueur et de nécessité. Il enchante et provoque la musique à chaque fois qu'il est là. Ce duo avec Michel en est la démonstration éclatante.

Comment réussir un duo ?
C'est la formule la plus risquée du jazz. C'est une mise à nu sans échappatoire, un exercice de haute voltige sans filet. Tout peut arriver. Chacun de deux complices se doit d'être totalement disponible, très attentif, toujours à l'écoute et à l'affût. La moindre fuite de présence y est fatale. C'est l'art de la conversation dans toute sa générosité, le jeu du double jeu avec tous ses dangers de prise de pouvoir et de dérive narcissique.
Pour bien dialoguer, il faut savoir parler et écouter en même temps. Ce n'est pas donné à tout le monde. C'est que Michel et NHOP parviennent à faire dans ce duo vif-argent, entrelacs de virtuosité et de lyrisme mêlés, sur le fil si fragile de l'instant.

Qu'est-ce qu'un standard ?
C'est ce morceau qui résiste à l'épreuve du temps, cette mélodie que les jazzmen ont jouée mille et une fois et qu'ils improvisent toujours comme si c'était la première. C'est l'esperanto du jazz, cette composition sésame qui permet à tout musicien de dialoguer immédiatement avec un autre dont il ignore tout. Le standard est ce qui pardonne le moins. Il y faut le juste tempo, l'introduction qui égare, la mesure qui déroute, la réharmonisation qui intrigue. Toute nouvelle approche est en fait une reprise, une appropriation d'espaces défrichés par d'autres qu'il s'agit de renouveler et délocaliser vers des paysages intimes, les plus personnels possibles.

C'est ce défi que réussissent ici magnifiquement Michel et NHOP.
Sur les quatorze standards revisités au programme de ce concert danois, neuf ont déjà été enregistrés par Michel dans des environnements très différents, comme « Round Midnight » dont il existe cinq versions très différentes. Seuls quatre (« Billie's Bounce », « Someday My Prince Will Come », « All Blues », « Blues In The Closet » et « Stella By Starlight ») sont inédits dans sa discographie. « Stella » est sans conteste le standard qui donne l'image la plus exacte de la connivence joueuse qui circule entre Michel et NHOP tout au long de ce concert. Chacun s'y affirme complètement lui-même, dans son style, sa manière de conduire et de faire avancer la musique, tout restant toujours en relation constante, quasi télépathique, avec l'autre.

Un modèle de complicité librement partagée.
Le bonheur d'un échange vif et généreux.

Quelle: http://www.disquesdreyfus.com/pages/369312-duo-nhop.html




2009

Michel PETRUCCIANI
THE COMPLETE DREYFUS JAZZ RECORDINGS

This special limited edition collector's edition boxed set includes 10 classic Petrucciani albums: Marvellous, Au Theatre Des Champs-Elysees, Converence De Presse Vols. 1 & 2, Both Worlds, Conversation, Piano Solo - The Complete Concert in Germany (expanded version of Solo Live), Dreyfus Night In Paris, Flamingo (newly expanded edition) and Trio in Tokyo (newly expanded edition), plus wonderful 2 DVDs containing 4 feature films: Non Stop-Travels with Michel Petrucciani/Trio Live in Stuttgart and Solo Concert/Lettre A Michel Petrucciani.
Michel Petrucciani had already accomplished so much when he passed away in 1999 at the age of 36, yet there is a sense of unfinished business about him. Because of his osteogenesis imperfecta, which caused him to stop growing at three feet tall, Petrucciani knew he was on borrowed time; he never let it stop him yet he did work at a more feverish pace than most in order to make his mark. Prolific and far-reaching artistically, he was a remarkable artist and human being with seemingly limitless ideas to draw from--had he survived a while longer there's no telling where this piano virtuoso (whose arms were so short that reaching all of the keys was a chore) might have gone. In the end though, it's his considerable recorded body of work that we have to go on, and it transcends his personal story. This ten-CD/two-DVD box set celebrates the tail-end of that journey. Petrucciani cut his earliest albums for the French Owl label, then recorded for Blue Note before coming to Dreyfus in 1994. The box contains all of his work as leader or co-leader for Dreyfus, beginning with that year's Marvellous, a rich set that found the pianist in the company of bassist Dave Holland and drum legend Tony Williams. Petrucciani never had trouble attracting fine collaborators, a fact borne out by 1996's Flamingo, co-billed with violinist Stéphane Grappelli and also featuring drummer Roy Haynes and bassist George Mraz; 2003's Dreyfus Night in Paris, with Marcus Miller, Biréli Lagrène, Lenny White, and Kenny Garrett; and 2001's Conversation, a duet with guitarist Tony Petrucciani, the pianist's father. Petrucciani was just as effective in a solo setting, however, and the double-disc, 1997 Piano Solo: The Complete Concert in Germany is rich, consistently inspired and full of surprises. The DVDs each contain two films and combine concert performances and documentary material.
~ Jeff Tamarkin



Animalische Anziehungskraft

Michel-Petrucciani-Biografie neu aufgelegt und bearbeitet

Bücher über Ereignisse des Jazz faszinieren immer wieder, auch wenn man sich die Musik beim Lesen nur vorstellen, nicht direkt hören kann, gerade für das Thema, die Persönlichkeit, das Leben und Wirken von Michel Petrucciani sehr treffend. Besonders bei dem Blick auf einen Menschen von seinem Schicksal, der mit schwerer Krankheit und bereits gebrochenen Knochen am 29.12.1962 auf die Welt kam und diese Krankheit von klein auf versuchte, durch seine Nähe zur Musik zu kompensieren, muss man sich davor in Acht nehmen, ihn nicht nur aus Mitgefühl zu betrachten. Jetzt, in diesem Zusammenhang geht es um ihn als Musiker. Und darum ging es ihm auch von klein auf, egal in welcher Verfassung er war. Warum wäre er sonst als begeisterter Jazzer schon im Alter von 18 Jahren einfach von zuhause weggefahren, unvorbereitet einschließlich fehlender englischer Sprachkenntnisse und ohne Reisegeld in die USA, auf der Suche nach den Größen des Jazz, die er dann auch sehr schnell traf und auch von ihnen aufgenommen wurde? Immerhin hat er Charles Lloyd bewegen können, wieder auf die Bühne zurückzukommen. Erinnert man sich an die legendäre Einspielung des Konzerts in Monterey, "Forest Flower" in 1966 (da war Petrucciani gerade vier Jahre alt), kann man dies nicht hoch genug einschätzen.
Doch zurück zu dem kleinen großen Künstler, der nie größer als einen Meter wurde, dessen große Hände ihm aber ermöglichten, genial Klavier zu spielen: Kern des Buchs ist die Biographie des Franzosen Benjamin Halay, der ihm offensichtlich sehr nahe stand. Und übersetzt hat dies Karl Lippegaus, der gerade erst einen großen Erfolg mit seinem Buch über John Coltrane hatte und nun seine besonderen Kenntnisse über Petrucciani einfließen lässt, in die Bearbeitung und durch Interviews mit ihm am Ende des Buchs aus dem Jahr 1997, nach einem Interview von Ben Sidran von 1988. Vergessen darf man nicht, dass Lippegaus einer der fundamentalen Kenner vor allem auch der französischen Jazzszene ist. Er interviewt ihn im Rahmen der großen Deutschland-Solo-Tournee und veranlasst ihn zu einigen grundsätzlichen Äußerungen, die sein Denken und Handeln deutlich werden lassen. Zwei Zitate: "... es macht mir keine Sorgen, wenn ich improvisiere, denn ich liebe das. Ich liebe es, Geschichten zu erzählen und sehe mich in dieser Rolle, außerdem liebe ich das Neue ...". Und: "... ich liebe die Abwechslung, die Vielseitigkeit, und mag sehr viel an Musik, nicht nur Jazz, sondern auch Klassik, Rock, Unterhaltungsmusik ..." Lippegaus rundet seinen Beitrag schließlich mit einer Auswahldiskographie ab, in der er 32 Aufnahmen zwischen 1981 und 1998 aufführt und kurz bespricht/vorstellt.
Doch nun zur Biographie von Benjamin Halay: Offenbar hat er das Schaffen Petruccianis über viele Jahre begleitet, nicht nur über ihn geforscht, hat ihn interviewt, mit ihm gesprochen und gearbeitet. So ist das Buch voll von Informationen über das Denken, das Leben, die Ausstrahlung des Musikers, das in seinen Inhalten sehr viel länger war als die 37 Jahre, die es tatsächlich gedauert hat.
Petrucciani hat mit vier Jahren angefangen, Musik zu lernen, am Klavier und am Schlagzeug. Sein Vater war Musiker und seine beiden Brüder ebenfalls. Sie sind als Familie im Süden Frankreichs hin- und hergezogen. In Montelimar begann ihr gemeinsames musikalisches Auftreten, das sich dann bei Michel ganz schnell entwickelte. Halay beschreibt dies sehr persönlich und sehr grundsätzlich, zum Beispiel: "Neben seinem überreichlichen musikalischen Talent besaß Michel Petrucciani die Gabe einer fast animalischen Anziehungskraft – man hat sie oder man hat sie nicht." Das Buch ist voll solcher Beschreibungen des Charakters, der Aktivitäten, des Lebens des Künstlers.
Mit 15 trifft er auf die ersten Großen der Szene in Frankreich, so Daniel Humair und Kenny Clarke. Ein engerer Kontakt entsteht kurz danach zunächst zu Aldo Romano und dann vor allem zu Barre Phillips. Offenbar wirkte dieser ganz entscheidend auf die weitere künstlerische Entwicklung Petruccianis, indem er seinen Kosmos deutlich erweitern half. Die führte zu einer freien Form eines impressionistischen Jazz, aber keineswegs zum Free Jazz, den er offensichtlich ablehnte. Unter den vielen Begegnungen trifft er den Amerikaner und Schlagzeuger Tox Drohar, der ihn in die Welt der Hippiebewegung führt und ihm Jahre später zu dem ersten Besuch in den USA, in Kalifornien verhilft. Dies war 1980, als Petrucciani gerade 18 Jahre alt geworden war. Tox Drohar ist nach einigen Jahren Frankreich nach Big Sur in Kalifornien gezogen, der durch Henry Miller und Jack Kerouac berühmt gewordenen Region, in der auch Charles Lloyd nach seinem ersten musikalischen Abgang lebte und einige Jahre nicht mehr musikalisch arbeitete. Nach langem Hin und Her begegnen sich beide, beginnen miteinander zu spielen, was zu dem ersten US Auftritt Petruccianis in Santa Barbara führt. Lloyd ist begeistert und erklärt ihn zu seinem zweiten Lieblingspianisten nach Keith Jarrett. Die Folgejahre erlebt Petrucciani sowohl in den USA als auch in Europa in einem ständig aufreibenden Leben, mit zig Konzertauftritten, mehrfachen Eheschließungen und Scheidungen. Das Label Blue Note nimmt ihn unter seine Fittiche und produziert etliche Aufnahmen. Nach der Rückkehr nach Frankreich wechselt er zu Dreyfus. Aber das mehr als bewegte Leben geht weiter, mit mehr als hundert Konzerten in aller Welt pro Jahr. Die Zahl der berühmten Musiker ist endlos lang, vor allem was die amerikanischen Stars angeht, von Gillespie über Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Haden, Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, Jim Hall, Roy Haynes, Jack de Johnette und so weiter. Bei einem Besuch über Silvester in New York 1998/99 holt er sich eine Lungenentzündung, an der er wenige Tage später, am 06. Januar stirbt.
Seine Freunde wollten noch einige seiner Ideen verwirklichen, aber meist blieb es bei den Plänen, so vor allem dem Plan, eine grundlegende Jazzschule zu errichten. Auch die Idee, einen Klavierwettbewerb mit seinem Namen zu gründen, wie den Martial Solal Competition in Paris, ist ein Plan geblieben. Aber bis heute ist er unvergessen, vor allem durch die vielen persönlichen Eigenschaften und Produkte, mit denen er die Welt erfreut hat. Der Jazz war übrigens für ihn die klassische Musik des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts. Insgesamt haben Halay sowie die weiteren beteiligten Autoren und Bearbeiter ein sehr beeindruckendes Buch hinterlassen, ein besonderes und vielschichtiges Werk über die aktuelle Kunst unserer Zeit.

Hans-Jürgen von Osterhausen




zurück