“I first met Michel Petrucciani, by chance, on the side of Toulon. I was told that he was a great pianist. It was such a physical aspect, I said to myself that it was impossible.” Nearly forty years later – and twenty years after the death of pianist and jazz great, drummer Aldo Romano remembers of his first encounter. “He invited me to do a recording and when I heard it in the studio, I am immediately told that this guy was going to do the tour of the world. There was such expressiveness, such originality, such force of the hand of a being like that, physically diminished, it was very surprising,” says still Romano.
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It was in 1980. Michel Petrucciani, the little man of 99 centimeters, reaches a osteogenesis imperfecta known as glass bone disease, was 17 years old. The prediction of the one who brought him to Paris and played with him during the first years of his professional career, before he left the United States, was accomplished. In 1985, the musician came to Orange even became the first Frenchman to sign for the label Blue Note, where he remained ten years.
Michel Petrucciani plays Round Midnight, Thelonius Monk, in 1993 in Stuttgart
“He gave a lot, it was very moving to see. It was an example for all the disabled and an example for the whole world, of courage, of generosity, of self-giving on stage”
Michel Petrucciani has become, thanks to his talent, his generosity, his humor, his physics also exercised a certain fascination, a superstar of jazz. “There was in him a kind of optimism that allowed him to compensate for his shortcomings physical. He was a great musician who understood deeply that this was the way to make music with the jazz,” says Aldo Romano. “He was a great musician, but especially on stage. He gave a lot, it was very moving to see. It was an example for all the disabled and an example for the whole world, of courage, of generosity, of self-giving on stage, ” he continues. He loved the public, he needed it and the public loved him a lot.”
on The twentieth anniversary of his death, died of pneumonia at the heart of a winter in new york, will be fittingly celebrated on the airwaves. On France Musique with a special night of 5 to 6 January to midnight at 6.50 and the retransmission, in Legends of Jazz (5 and 6 January 18-19h), a concert given in Albi on 30 march 1988 by the pianist in a quartet.
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On France Musique always, Alex Dutilh began on January 2, a series of five Open Jazz (18-19h), with each time a guest pianist to look at his work, among them Thomas Enhco and Baptiste Trotignon. On FIP with a special day (a title of Petrucciani released every hour from 7 am to 19: 00), then the Club Jazz à FIP (19-20h), hosted by Frédéric Charbaut and Jane Villenet, who will return to his career in the company of Aldo Romano and Alexandre Petrucciani, his son. TSF Jazz will be holding close to a dozen hours of air time, with the fact that abc, declined on five days from Monday 7 to Friday 11, and the whole history of this immense musician in two episodes of an hour and a half in the Sunday program 59, rue des Archives on 6 and 13 January.
Michel Petrucciani live at the VIllage Vanguard in New York in 1985
Michel Petrucciani receiving the insignia of chevalier of the Legion of honor from the hands of François Mitterrand in 1994. GERARD FOUET/AFP
In the field recording, is released in late November, a box set of 12 cds and 3 DVDS devoted to the years of Dreyfus Jazz, the label chosen by Petrucciani, after the period, the Blue Note, and will be released on January 11, Colors , a book-record containing eighteen compositions of the “Petru” and testimonies of 40 musicians of today. Jazz Magazine publishes a special issue on the snowman, with a CD containing a new-in kiosks until the end of January. Finally, a concert-tribute will be held February 9 at the Seine Music in Issy-les-Moulineaux, in the wake of the annual ceremony of the Academy of the Jazz, with a distribution of the dream. And drums Aldo Romano, the accomplice of the first hour. Always.