This 1982 meeting between the veteran alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and the young pianist (19 at the time of the session) Michel Petrucciani is a success on all counts. Konitz's fragile alto is complemented by Petrucciani's lush backing in "I Hear a Rhapsody," while their abstract approach to "'Round Midnight" and "Lover Man" are both very refreshing. Konitz is unaccompanied for his wandering "Ode," while the pianist is featured alone on his complex portrait "To Erlinda," which is dedicated to his first wife. Petrucciani and Konitz wrote the brief closer, the lively blues "Lovelee," during which they initially play apart from one another before joining forces to close with a flourish. This was only Petrucciani's third recording, yet he plays far beyond his years; this recommended CD will be difficult to find due to the demise of the Owl label.
A lot of people first became aware of French pianist Michel Petrucciani through his work with Charles Lloyd in the early '80s. Standing barely three feet tall, he lived with complications from glass-bone disease, a painful, genetically transmitted condition known to medical science as osteogenesis imperfecta.
This CD features a logical combination of two talented Frenchmen, violinist Stephane Grappelli and pianist Michel Petrucciani, who had never recorded together before. With the assistance of bassist George Mraz and drummer Roy Haynes, the co-leaders romp on a variety of standards. Petrucciani was 32 at the time of this June 1995 set, a mere child compared to the 87-year-old Grappelli. Despite his age, Grappelli's violin playing sounds as youthful and enthusiastic as it had been in the 1930s; the 60 years of practice had not hurt. While Petrucciani's music is usually in the Bill Evans post-bop vein, he was happy to visit Grappelli's turf on this occasion, mostly playing veteran standards.
After five years during which he emerged from France to become an important figure in the international jazz world, pianist Michel Petrucciani (still a few days shy of his 23rd birthday) debuted on Blue Note with this superior trio outing. Assisted by bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Eliot Zigmund, Petrucciani sometimes shows off the influence of Bill Evans both in the nearly equal roles played by the instruments and in his chord voicings. However, the pianist's own personality does shine through often on the set, which features explorations of four of Petrucciani's tunes, "Night and Day," and "Here's That Rainy Day." Superior post-bop music played by the already brilliant pianist.
Music was a slight departure from pianist Michel Petrucciani's usual Bill Evans-influenced recordings of the period. Petrucciani uses synthesizers (his and Adam Holzman's) on all but two selections, but these are very much in the background, making the ensembles sound a little larger than they actually are. Petrucciani's ten originals range from romantic ("Memories of Paris") and manic ("My Bebop Tune") to charming ("Lullaby") and funky ("Play Me") with a generous supply of Latin-tinged pieces and one rhythmic vocal by Tania Maria; Joe Lovano (on soprano) and the accordion of Gil Goldstein make one appearance apiece.