In his new blog Jazz Profiles, Steve Cerrra is running a multi-part series on the late pianist Michel Petrucciani. In the current installment, Cerra discusses how during his period with Blue Note Records, Petrucciani dealt with his Bill Evans influence:
To hear a very specific example of this stylistic transition in the making, compare Michel’s scorching treatment of “Night and Day”, in which he puts on a dazzling display of “pianism,” with the searching and tentative version offered by Evans of this song on the Everybody Digs Bill Evans, his second date for Riverside.
Of course, Evans was still in the process of discovering his systems of voicings on his version of the Cole Porter classic whereas Michel comes to this system 30 years later with it available as a fully developed basis for harmonic substitutions while playing this tune. Nevertheless, more and more, throughout “The Blue Note Years,” one can discern the advent of Michel’s unique Jazz voice.
To read the whole thing, go here.
Cerra has initiated an occasional series on, of all peculiar topics, jazz critics. He began it with a lovely piece about Whitney Balliett. Now, arriving at desperation early in the game, he has resorted to a sidebar about the proprietor of Rifftides. I am mystified and flattered.