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Michel Petrucciani Trio: One Night in Karlsruhe (SWR Jazzhaus)

A review of a 1988 live recording featuring the late pianist with Gary Peacock and Roy Haynes

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One Night in Karlsruhe by the Michel Petrucciani Trio
The cover of One Night in Karlsruhe by the Michel Petrucciani Trio

The SWR Jazzhaus label is sitting on a huge stash of unreleased live jazz recordings made for radio and television broadcast in Germany, going back to the early 1950s. Over 40 titles have appeared to date. One Night in Karlsruhe is especially good news. Only a few previously unknown Michel Petrucciani recordings have come to light since his death at 36 in 1999.

Great jazz players are respected but few have been loved like Petrucciani. To see him on his piano bench, his 50-pound body severely stunted and crippled by osteogenesis imperfecta, grinning with joy, his hands unleashing torrential piano romanticism, was to believe in the invincibility of the creative human spirit.

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