Michel Petrucciani – Stella By Starlight (jazz Standard sheet music Transcription

Michel Petrucciani – Stella By Starlight (jazz Standard sheet music Transcription

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Michel Petrucciani

Afflicted by a very serious bone disease, -he was barely a meter tall- the French pianist Michel Petrucciani devoted himself almost exclusively to the study of the piano from childhood and ended up becoming one of the most renowned European jazz musicians in the world.

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Endowed with extreme virtuosity, his intimate and romantic style, which stemmed from the school of Bill Evans – of whom he was a fervent admirer – intelligently combined lyricism and subtlety with a powerful and percussive attack.

He was born in Orange on December 28, 1962. He studied classical piano and at the age of 12 he performed accompanied by his father on guitar and his brother Louis on double bass.

His enormous talent makes him stand out from a very young age and at the age of 17 he records his first album. The following year he starts with an exceptional trio with Jean-François Jenny-Clark and Aldo Romano, a series of splendid recordings for the French OWL label.

In 1982 he moved to California and became the pianist in the group of saxophonist Charles Lloyd, when he returned to the scene after a long retirement.

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He also performs in a duet with Lee Konitz. Although he continues to record in France, his stays in New York lead to his first American albums, until in 1985 he began his period on the “Blue Note” label with “Pianism”, a trio recording with Palle Danielson and Elliot Zigmund.

The following year he performs in Montreux in a trio with Wayne Shorter and Jim Hall, a meeting that is published under the title of “Power of Three”, one of his great albums. In later works – «Music», «Playground»-, he approaches the formulas of electric fusion with productions in which his best virtues are diluted. His last album for Blue Note is a solo in tribute to Duke Ellington, one of his favorite composers, and a clear influence on any pianist.

In 1994, he recorded again for a French company, Dreyfus, with “Marvellous”, in a trio with the superb support of Dave Holland and Tony Williams and the surprising addition of a string quartet. His absorbing personality made him prefer small ensembles, and in recent years one of the most fruitful was his unusual and exceptional meeting in a duet with the organist Eddy Louiss, captured in the two volumes of “Conference de Presse”.

ut above all he turns to the solo, of which he was a true master. The double CD collected from his performances in Paris “Au Teathre Des Champs-Elysees” is probably the peak of his recording career. In 1997 he took a new turn, forming a larger group, a sextet that included two young Italian revelations of the neo-bop trend: Stefano Di Battista and Flavio Boltro, with whom he recorded “Both Worlds”.

Michel Petrucciani performed with relative frequency in our country alone in several of the jazz festivals organized in Spain, always captivating the public with the characteristic stylistic breadth of his pianism. His death on January 5, 1999, due to a lung condition, left a gap that was very difficult to cover in European jazz and in French jazz in particular.

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