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So What - Best of Michel Petrucciani

Michel Petrucciani

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Album Review

The great pianist Michel Petrucciani recorded for the Dreyfus label during the six years before his 1999 death. Producer/label owner Francis Dreyfus is worried about Petrucciani being underrated if not completely forgotten, so he put together this sampler of previously released material covering the pianist's 2Dreyfus period. Petrucciani is heard solo, dueting with his father guitarist Tony Petrucciani ("Michel's Blues"), interacting with organist Eddy Louiss, in a trio with bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Steve Gadd, collaborating with violinist Stephane Grappelli (the boppish "Little Peace in C for U" and "Pennies From Heaven"), playing in a sextet with valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, and being joined by the Graffiti String Quartet. "Pennies From Heaven" was only previously out on a privately issued CD. Dreyfus did a fine job of picking out the most exciting and emotional selections from his catalog of Petrucciani gems, so one gets to hear one highpoint after another throughout this single-CD sampler. Michel Petrucciani was one of the greats and So What offers plenty of evidence.

Biography

Born: 28 December 1962 in Orange, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Michel Petrucciani overcame the effects of osteogenensis imperfecta (a bone disease that greatly stunted his growth) to become a powerful pianist. Originally greatly influenced by Bill Evans and to a lesser extent Keith Jarrett, Petrucciani developed his own individual voice. He started by playing in the family band with his guitarist father and bassist brother. At the age of 15 he had the opportunity to play with Kenny Clarke and Clark Terry, and at 17 he made his first recording. Petrucciani toured...
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So What  -  Best of Michel Petrucciani, Michel Petrucciani
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