Petrucciani - both jazz-group-member and soloist
C. Hensing | Valby, Denmark | 07/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD (recorded 1997) gives an experience of Petruccian both as a part of a very skilled jazz group and as the band leader and solist. Though the arrangements leaves place for nice solos (espec. Brookmeyer/trombone & Di Battista/saxes)- Petrucciani is the main figure most of the way. He demonstrates that at this stage of his carrier (just 2 years before he passed away) he is able to take the place both backing up and supporting the band - AND (best) as the authoritative solo-figur. I prefer the tunes with "Most Michel": Guadeloupe - a bossa-nova-inspired tune with the piano rhythmically dancing and the horns playing muted underneath; Petite Louise - where Petrucciani's piano-playing is floating in the air (as I think only he can do it !); Brazilian Like - where Petrucciani from the samba-like backing improvites and developes the theme like on many of his solo-recordings. Wonderfull. The group plays well together and the whole record has a nice and harmonic atmosphere, which I think you will like. Nobodys is showing off - they play for you and me. All tunes by Petrucciani, all arrangments by Brookmeyer."
Petrucciani at his peak
S J Buck | Kent, UK | 12/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1997 album features Pettruciani's regular trio of the time. Anthony Jackson on bass and Steve Gadd on drums with the addition of Bob Brookmeyer on Trombone, flavio Boltro on Trumpet and Stefano Di Battista on Saxophone to make up a cracking sextet. All the compositions are by Petrucciani and they are amongst his very best: 'Brazilian Like', 'Training', 'Chloe meeets Gershwin' and 'On top of the Roof' are all excellent vehicles for the band.
Jackson and Gadd do a fine job keeping the whole thing swinging. I maybe would have preferred an accoustic bass but Jackson has a unique sound on electric bass and Gadd shows why he's so respected as drummer. There are some sparkling solos here, but at this stage of his career Pettruciani was playing on a level that few musicians reach, and his solos stand out. Thats not to say its all virtuosity, far from it, Petrucciani is a subtle and melodic player. For an example of this listen to his restrained solo on 'Colors' and his beautiful introduction to 'Petite Louise'.
In all honesty I prefer his Trio albums (Trio in Tokyo is strongly recommended), however this is rare oppurtunity to hear one of the greatest European Jazz Pianists working in a larger format and I strongly recommend it.