Live concert in celebration of Loussier's 70th birthday. In performance in Bach's 'own' church, St Thomas's in Leipzig. A rare example of a commercially successful jazz artist. In fifteen years, the Jacquees Loussier trio sold over six million albums. Bonus feature: Jacques Loussier in Conversation…
Released in 2003, Allegretto from Symphony No. 7, Theme and Variations features pianist Loussier in a trifecta alongside bassist Ben Dunoyer de Segonzac and drummer André Arpino interpreting ten variations on the Allegretto portion of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. For those unfamiliar, the term Allegretto (translated as "rather fast") refers to the composition's tempo, encompassing a speed of less than 120 but exceeding 108 measures per minute. As he had done in prior outings that incorporated the respective works of Bach, Debussy, and Handel, among others, Loussier approaches the composition with an ear toward the third stream, blending classical pieces to a decidedly jazz orientation.
The phenomenon that was pianist Michel Petrucciani (b. December 28th, 1962, d. January 6th, 1999) is brought to life by this double-feature DVD from Dreyfus Records. Containing the hour-long documentary (Non-Stop Travels With Michel Petrucciani) that aired on many PBS television stations and a concert performance (Michel Petrucciani Trio: Live In Concert) in Germany, this wonderful DVD brings clarity to the person and musician that was Petrucciani. The single strongest emotion that keeps pouring forth as Petrucciani speaks and plays is his enormous talent and forever optimistic and humorous demeanor trapped in a body with a degenerative bone disease that would fail him before he turned forty.
The CD is a return to the Trio’s roots in Bach via a new jazz interpretation of the entire six Brandenburg Concertos, in order. But this time a rather new approach is in the works. As described by Loussier himself: “Whereas my older recordings were about adding to Bach, this record is about reducing his music to its essence, taking the main themes and working with them as any jazz musician might in playing a theme, an improvisation, and a return to the theme.”