Michel_pterucciani-solo_live_span3
July/August 1999

Michel Petrucciani
Solo Live
Dreyfus Records

There is that sense of the shroud that attaches somehow to this recording, however incongruously. Petrucciani, the gifted pianist, passed on in January of this year, just a few months after having recorded this concert in Berlin. The pulmonary infection that overwhelmed his tiny frame took from us an irrepressible musical spirit-and hence the incongruity of the associations we cannot avoid in this, his last album. For the vitality that shines in every piece here is such an intrinsic part of Petrucciani's musical persona that it is hard to think of him as gone. The grace with which he phrases, the natural rubato that inflects his playing, seems to me very European: it is as if he spoke swing and understood the blues with a slight but charming accent. There are many highlights here, from his opener, "Looking Up" to a stunning "Caravan." Long live Michel Petrucciani.

Originally published in July/August 1999
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