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Michel Plays Petrucciani (1987)

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Michel Petrucciani

Tackling his own material, with nary a vintage standard within earshot, Petrucciani combines his assertive, driving, mainstream piano with two different trios on two separate occasions. The first half of the program features the hard-swinging combination of bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Roy Haynes, augmented on "One For Us" by the slightly withdrawn guitar of John Abercrombie. The second half finds bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Al Foster providing somewhat smoother, perhaps more conventional support, occasionally with a Latin twinge, and Abercrombie and percussionist Steve Thornton sit in on one number apiece. Petrucciani's compositions are certainly worthy pieces, but as always, the pianist's direct, intelligently probing solos leave the source material way behind; he's an improviser through and through. ~ Richard S. Ginell