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Jazz - Released October 25, 2019 | Disques Dreyfus

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Jazz - Released July 30, 2012 | Dreyfus Jazz

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 swinging backdrop that Petrucciani can relate to, allowing him to exhibit 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 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 "Little Peace in C For U," a showstopper no matter your preference. Gadd's seldom-heard brush work 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 from "Blues 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 most capable musicians. Recommended. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 22, 1999 | Dreyfus Jazz

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 swinging backdrop that Petrucciani can relate to, allowing him to exhibit 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 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 "Little Peace in C For U," a showstopper no matter your preference. Gadd's seldom-heard brush work 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 from "Blues 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 most capable musicians. Recommended. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Dreyfus Jazz

A lot of people first became aware of French pianist Michel Petrucciani through his work with Charles Lloyd in the early '80s. Standing barely three feet tall, he lived with complications from glass-bone disease, a painful, genetically transmitted condition known to medical science as osteogenesis imperfecta. While growing up, Petrucciani suffered hundreds of bone fractures, and throughout his meteoric career he sometimes broke fingers during performance. Extraordinarily gifted and restlessly active in spite of it all, he continued to perform and record like a whirlwind before succumbing to a pulmonary ailment at the age of 36 in January 1999. Petrucciani appeared before the public as a soloist at the Alte Oper Concert Hall in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on February 27, 1997. Portions of that performance were posthumously released by the Dreyfus label just months after his passing. Ten years later the complete unedited concert recording was made available as a double CD, expanded from 11 to 20 tracks. Here is your opportunity to experience Petrucciani in person, fully alive and in excellent form. Everything people remember about him is suddenly brought forward with rewarding immediacy, including the sound of his voice. All of his recordings are worth exploring. This one qualifies as utterly essential. © arwulf arwulf /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Blue Note Records

Music was a slight departure from pianist Michel Petrucciani's usual Bill Evans-influenced recordings of the period. Petrucciani uses synthesizers (his and Adam Holzman's) on all but two selections, but these are very much in the background, making the ensembles sound a little larger than they actually are. Petrucciani's ten originals range from romantic ("Memories of Paris") and manic ("My Bebop Tune") to charming ("Lullaby") and funky ("Play Me") with a generous supply of Latin-tinged pieces and one rhythmic vocal by Tania Maria; Joe Lovano (on soprano) and the accordion of Gil Goldstein make one appearance apiece. Worth investigating. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 15, 1997 | Dreyfus Jazz

The diminutive French pianist Michel Petrucciani continues to display immense talent at the keyboard, but for a change, he's turned to another musician to arrange his original material. Seasoned arranger and superb trombonist Bob Brookmeyer makes a major contribution, adding very different shadings than the leader would have chosen. Rich unison lines flesh out "35 Seconds of Music and More," and Brookmeyer creates an especially melancholy mood for "Colors." An ominous introduction to "Training" dissolves later into a joyful bossa nova. This recommended CD also features trumpeter Flavio Boltro, saxophonist Stefano Di Battista, bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Steve Gadd. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 30, 2012 | Dreyfus Jazz

Solo Live, released shortly after his death, marks pianist Michel Petrucciani's lasting solo gift to the jazz world. Though 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. © Brian Bartolini /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Blue Note Records

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. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 30, 2012 | Dreyfus Jazz

Having untethered himself from the United States and Blue Note Records, Petrucciani returned to France and promptly zapped out one of his finest, most unusual recordings. By this time, Petrucciani had found his own stylistic groove, his technique sharpened to an enviable degree, his melodic bent fresh and inextinguishable. To these assets, Petrucciani added two ex-Miles Davis sidekicks of some note, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Tony Williams, who provide a furious polyrhythmic kick for the pianist to groove on. And there is something else put together just for the session: the Graffiti String Quartet, a quartet of Frenchman who have mastered the elusive craft of swinging on the strings. Everything works: Petrucciani exploits his melodic gift and comes up with an attractive set of eight compositions (there is also one by Philippe Petrucciani and "Besame Mucho" is thrown in as a parting shot), Williams shuffles the rhythms up in his explosive manner, the string quartet fills the spaces without overloading the textures or interfering with the Williams/Holland machine. Furthermore, the impact of America is still very much present in tunes like "Manhattan," which is astonishing in its hard-swinging single lines, and "Charlie Brown," an apparent reference to the Peanuts scores with a definite Vince Guaraldi quality in the rhythm and left hand. The only melancholy thing about this splendid session is the realization that Petrucciani and Williams are no longer around, cruelly taken before the decade was out when they were still relatively young men. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 30, 2012 | Dreyfus Jazz

Michel Petrucciani always excelled in front of a live audience, and this 1992 concert with his father Tony accompanying him on guitar is no exception, though it's a shame it wasn't released until 2001, some two years after the pianist's death. An adventurous exploration of "Summertime" serves as a strong opener, followed by the playful waltz "Sometime Ago." The complex introduction to "All the Things You Are" and well disguised path into "My Funny Valentine" are by themselves worth the price of the CD. Michel gets a bit heavy-handed during parts of "Someday My Prince Will Come," overwhelming his partner's soft chords. There are solo features, too: Tony Petrucciani tackles Django Reinhardt's lovely ballad "Nuages" with finesse; while Michel is no doubt inspired by Bill Evans' many recordings of Miles Davis' "Nardis," he finds his own path during a dramatic improvisation. The sign off by the duo includes a rapid-fire take of "Billie's Bounce" and a gently swinging version of "Satin Doll." Recommended. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Jazz - Released May 3, 2010 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Michel Petrucciani in the magazine