Michel Petrucciani

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Showing the influence of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, as well as an expansive understanding of jazz in general, pianist Michel Petrucciani weaves myriad textures, rhythms, and styles at the keyboard, producing work that sounds both complex and seamless. His brevity comes from both incredible technique and an ease with a wide range of musical settings: quintets, quartets, trios, and an assortment of duo settings. Petrucciani further expands the field here with a solo program of two originals and two standards. He kicks things off with the self-penned "The Round Boys Dance," an abstract boogie-woogie number full of mercurial improvisation. Petrucciani maintains the momentum on "Eugenia," evoking the buoyancy of John Lewis' "Afternoon in Paris" while tossing off a wealth of fresh solo ideas. He tones things down with meditations on Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" and Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine," practically transforming both pieces by thoroughly exploring their almost symphonic terrain, especially on the Ellington cut. A great Petrucciani disc and certainly one of the finer solo jazz piano records available.

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