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Steve Grossman Quartet with Michel Petrucciani: Steve Grossman Quartet with Michel Petrucciani

With Steve Grossman, the American ex-pat now living in Europe best known for his tenure with Miles Davis, cooperation defers to competition with Michel Petrucciani during the course of 10 vivid, choice standards and originals recorded in January 1998. Grossman’s albums for Dreyfus have always included a major pianist, such as Barry Harris, Cedar Walton and McCoy Tyner, which suggests the middle-aged tenor saxophonist is not one in need off comforting reassurances from those around him. Indeed, with Petrucciani, bassist Andy McKee and drummer Joe Farnsworth, Grossman uses the pianist’s restless Gallic flair as a platform to investigate the most obscure corners of a song. Grossman’s solos on “Body and Soul” and “Why Don’t I?,” which he previously recorded in 1993 with the Cedar Walton Trio, have a level of vigor and probing curiosity that reveals the extent to which he’s refined his creative gift and, as seems to be the way in jazz, underlines how an artist reaching maturity can be overlooked in favor of the unfinished and often incomplete voices of youth.

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