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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

Michel Petrucciani
Days of Wine and Roses

The Owl Years
UNIVERSAL 548 288-2

 £19.99 Amazon UK £17.99

  1. Gattito
  2. Amalgame
  3. Eugenia
  4. Mike Pee
  5. I Just Say Hello
  6. Santa Barbara
  7. It's What I am Doing when I Miss You
  8. Cold Blues


  1. Days of Wine and Roses
  2. My Funny Valentine
  3. Prelude to a Kiss
  4. I Hear a Rhapsody
  5. Round about Midnight
  6. Afro Blues
  7. There Will Never be another You

CD1 Track1 Michel Petrucciani - Piano Jean Francois Jenny-Clark - Bass Aldo Romano - Drums
CD2 Track4 Michel Petrucciani Lee Konitz - Alto Sax All remaining tracks Michel Petrucciani - Solo piano

Michel Petrucciani was born in Orange, France, in 1962, into a musical family and he began studying the piano at the age of six. He was born with a bone condition, osteogenesis imperfecta, which prevented him from growing taller than about three feet. It was certainly no impediment to his musical ability however, he gave a solo recital at 13 and by the time he was 15, he was sitting in with visiting overseas jazz musicians and holding his own. At 17 he moved to Paris, where he made his debut album. By 1980, he had achieved US recognition and toured Europe in a duo with US Alto player Lee Konitz. The next year, he joined Tenor Saxist Charles Lloyd, in a new band which found instant success in the US and his flamboyant style was well suited to that of the leader.

The music on this CD was recorded in the period 1981 to1985, when Petrucciani was at the peak of his musical career. His technique is stunning, as is the emotional complexity of the music he plays. Whether it is in one of his own compositions or the works of  The Duke or Thelonius Monk, all of it is 100% Petrucciani! Like most musical geniuses there is a tendency to be enigmatic at times as the mood swings in his improvisations can be very rapid, to the point where, on first listening, you can be left behind and lose the plot. It is music for the serious jazz listener, this is long way away from 'easy listening', but the effort of careful attention is very rewarding. I am sorry there was not more of the trio; I enjoyed the first track greatly. Lee Konitz makes to me what is an unremarkable appearance, on CD2 Track 4.

I enjoyed CD1 more than CD2. The reason for this may be that I am very familiar with all the tunes on CD2 and the Petrucciani performance of them was not what I was expecting. I did not see a live performance by Michel and I found the included CD-ROM extract from the film 'Lettre a Michel Petrucciana' fascinating. The tune My Romance being a personal favourite.

 Don Mather

Don Mather is a Tenor Sax player and Bandleader in Coventry UK

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