May 22, 2024

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CD review: Michel Petrucciani – Solo in Denmark 2022: Video, CD cover

Solo in Denmark features French piano prodigy Michel Petrucciani in a solo recording from Silkeborg Church, 1990.

MP was one of the most popular pianists in the 1990’s due to his extraordinary technique, his astounding musical outlook and extremely dynamic playing style. His music is simply timeless and magical, seemingly coming straight from his soul. As he is often quoted:

“I’m not playing to your head, but to your soul. When I play, I’m like a bird flying over the landscape, and I can land anywhere.”

Recorded on June 23, 1990, at the Riverboat Jazz Festival in Silkeborg, Denmark, this album is a tour de force that leads the listener through a series of the most iconic motifs in jazz, all of which are deconstructed and transformed by an outstanding craftsman and embellished along the way by a true master. And he also allows himself to insert unexpected twists and turns that are guaranteed to make the listener smile. Pay special attention to his small rhythmic and melodic tags, little hints for the well-trained ear. They reveal a musician who never grows complacent or takes himself too seriously.

Here, the totality of MP’s talents are exhibited in an intimate setting, where he stuns the crowd with his inventive and blindingly rapid playing.

The music emanating from the man simply grabs everybody’s attention. Arrangements by jazz legends like Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis gets the cheeky Petrucciani treatment with his rather audacious approach to ‘established’ jazz standards. MP had the ability to effortlessly travel through the history of jazz on his piano, fascinating his audience in the process. This church concert clearly displays why MP quickly developed into a truly exceptional member of the international jazz scene.

For MP, joyful playing with the music was a necessity of life. He lived and breathed for the opportunity to show it his love and respect. And all we have to do is open our ears, mind and soul and accept the gems from a musical individualist, who has made an indelible impression on millions of jazz listeners around the world.

Solo in Denmark is simply another chapter in the remarkable story of a man, who perceived himself as a servant of the music.

Stream Estate (Solo In Denmark) by Michel Petrucciani | Listen online for  free on SoundCloud

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