Monday, August 07, 2006

Conversations with Michel

I bought the CD Conversations with Michel a few month ago at a sale in my record shop and yesterday I had the change to listen to it. The CD contains music and an interview Ben Sidran, the producer had with Michel Petrucciani September 1988 for a radio program. The other part of the CD are duets, conversations, from Bob Malach on tenor sax and Michel Petrucciani on piano of course.

I guess most of you remember Michel Petrucciani, who died 6 January 1999 at the age of 36. Born with the Osteogenesis Imperfecta syndrom he never became larger then 3 feet high and was unable to walk without crutches. Although a great jazz piano player his appearance was remarkable. I've seen several concerts from him on video, a little dwarf put down on the high piano chair, with adapted pedals, but when the concerts started the music won and his disabled body was completely forgotten.

During the interview Michel tells about his youth, about his successes and about the fact how happy he is now to be able to play with the heroes of his youth, musicians like Freddie Hubbard or Lee Konitz.

For me the interview on the CD ( nearly 13 minutes) is a bit excessive as it is also written down in the liner notes of the book.

On the other hand, the conversations between Bob Malach and Michel Petrucciani, the duo-performances, are great, especially the four takes of My Bebop Tune. Great music and worth to buy the CD for.

I believe that concerts with only two instruments belong to the most pure jazz music, as it forces you to listen to each other. I've heard that with concerts, like Bert van den Brink and Jesse van Ruller at Porgy en Bess Jazzclub in Terneuzen (The Netherlands) some years ago and these conversations, made by to equavalent musicans belong to the high lights of jazz.

If you want to hear him play, please click on this link or on the title bar.


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