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Michel Petrucciani: The Days of Wine and Roses: The Owl Years 1981-1985

Album Notes

This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.

Personnel: Michel Petrucciani (piano); Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark (bass); Aldo Romano (drums).

Recorded between 1981 & 1985. Includes liner notes by Daniel Soutif.

All tracks have been digitally remastered.

This is part of Sunnyside's Confluences series.

This two-CD set contains 15 tracks selected by producer Jean-Jacques Pussiau from the six albums Petrucciani recorded for Owl Records from 1981-1985. The first CD includes six Petrucciani originals and two by drummer Aldo Romano; the second is all standards. Petrucciani's playing is not as strongly individual as it eventually became, but then he was only 18 in 1981. If there's an excess of self-indulgent noodling, particularly on the Jarrett-ish "My Funny Valentine" and "Prelude to a Kiss," there are also intimations of his later voice, with all its power, clarity, and chromatic romanticism. Petrucciani doubles himself on some of the solo tracks on the first CD, though this is not noted in the liners (which are a bit confusing). Two highlights on the first CD are "Mike Pee," a meditation that wanders -- but beautifully -- and is full of Petrucciani's signature clean, flowing runs and lyrical harmonies, and "Cold Blues," where the fast-walking basslines of Ron McClure provide an inspiring scaffolding for a joyful tour de force. That same piano/bass format swings "There Will Never Be Another You" on the second disc, where Petrucciani's thoughtful, Tatum-esque solo version of "'Round Midnight" is nothing less than astonishing for a teenager to pull off. For his fans, these discs are historically important as early evidence of his remarkable promise; for others, they offer more energy and imagination than many pianists are displaying today. ~ Judith Schlesinger


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