Michel Petrucciani: So What: The Best of Michel Petrucciani (2004)
Afflicted with ontogenesis imperfecta, a bone disorder, Petrucciani found his accomplished career cut short by a pulmonary infection when he was only thirty-six. He showed an early aptitude and interest in music, and he was already drawn to the piano by age four. Fostering these early signs of great talent, Petrucciani’s parents provided a classical training, but he quickly fell in love with jazz—particularly Bill Evans—and soon dedicated himself to a jazz career.
As much a musical biography as a “best of,” So What documents Petrucciani’s musicianship by collecting performances from the full range of his Dreyfus recordings. As the album’s thirteen tracks reveal, his gift lay more in the clarity of his playing than its originality. Somewhat conventional in approach, Petrucciani was nonetheless possessed of a masterful technique and a perspicacious ability to locate hidden moments of beauty and meaning in even the most repeated of standards. It is this propensity that shines through more than anything else on So What , and it reveals itself most clearly on Petrucciani’s solo and duet performances, particularly the haunting rendition of “Summertime” which resonates with a lurking sense of foreboding totally unique to Petrucciani’s interpretation. Other highlights incluse the solo performance "J'Aurais Tellement Voulu" and the vivacious "Little Peace in C For U" with violinist Stephane Grappelli.
A diverse look at a multifaceted artist, So What provides a balanced view into Petrucciani’s career and should appeal to established fans as well as inspire well deserved converts.
Track Listing: 1. Summertime 2. Little Peace in C for U 3. Home 4. J'Aurais Tellement Voulu 5. Chloe Meets Gershwin 6. Brazillian LIke 7. So What 8. Les Grelots 9. Looking Up 10. Besame Mucho 11. Why 12. Michel's Blues 13. Pennys From Heaven
Personnel: Michel Petrucciani: Piano with Stephane Grappelli, Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson and Eddy Louiss
Record Label: Dreyfus Records