Michel Petrucciani: Contradictions




Michel Petrucciani (piano, synthesizer)


Playground (Blue Note CDP 7 95480-2)

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Michel Petrucciani (piano, synthesizer),

Anthony Jackson (bass), Steve Thornton (percussion)


Composed by Michel Petrucciani


Recorded: New York, 1991


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Due to a degenerative bone disease, Michel Petrucciani was small in stature. But he was a giant at the keyboards. He was only 28 when he recorded this album with well-respected American jazz musicians. This was important because Petrucciani, an Italian-Frenchman, would be considered by many as the finest jazz pianist ever to come from France. Performances with American jazzmen added to his bona fides.

"Contradictions" is flat-out up-tempo bebop. Petrucciani's nimble fingers fly up and down the keyboard as Thornton accompanies him on congas. Waiting for an entrance ramp, bassist Anthony Jackson finally merges into traffic. At times, especially when Petrucciani starts throwing blues licks around, it seems there are two piano players. But there is only one driver. The tune becomes a "catch me if you can" ride darting in between traffic. It's a dangerous game if carried on too long. But the trio is wise here. In two minutes, they are done with their dare-deviling. Everyone is safe and sound. Until the next time, that is.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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