Hier, demain, toujours, nous fait voir notre image - Charles Baudelaire
'Le Voyage' in 'VII' third line from Les Fleurs du mal, 1857.
One of the very best solo piano releases to arrive this year this is a first time release of a 1990 recording made in Denmark by the pianist Michel Petrucciani (1962-1999). It is certainly a potent reminder of the power of Petrucciani and of his indomitable spirit.
There was so much passion. He also had an incredible technique. Think McCoy in terms of power.
The French pianist early in his career was famously credited with persuading Charles Lloyd out of retirement while the hippie jazz eminence was living in an extended deep seclusion in Big Sur.
This Silkeborg church recording is special. Clearly where it was made is important in terms of the additional depth of acoustic resource allied with the skill of the recording engineer and in the mix and mastering production since in addition to Petrucciani's massive raw sound so you get even more impact.
The first version of Bruno Brighetti and Bruno Martino's summer hating classic 'Estate' sung in Italian by Martino and long since a jazz standard was released in 1960
Collectors and fans will remember Petrucciani's Riviera Records 1982 live in Rome trio version with double bassist Furio Di Castri and drum icon Aldo Romano of the classic. Solo Michel has that wide screen sense and is another point of departure into his world that none of us have heard before.
Few were or are as Ellingtonian as the Frenchman and that reflection is apparent once again here on this very fine connoisseur calibre release. As for the Danish pieces that bring home the bacon forget the fact that most are very familiar because like any of the greats Petrucciani had that knack of making what he played immediate and delicious as if sizzling hot from the pan just cooked.
His originals 'P'tit Louis' and the partial boogie-woogie motion of Michel plays Petrucciani piece 'She Did It Again' (Blue Note, 1988) here in an action packed far longer version are convincing. But overall the treatment of 'Estate' introduced by audience sound that is like a river of the warmest sweetest rain imaginable is to savour most. Marlbank was only lucky enough to have heard Petrucciani live once at a concert on the South Bank in London in the mid-1990s many years before the blog started and well after his fame had gone global. The sheer volume was something that sticks in the mind and the persuasiveness of how he could swing. Solo in Denmark makes that fleeting concert lost in the mists of memory like morning.
Out on 2 September