Other Places: Jazz Profiles

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.

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  1. Jon Foley says

    A nice appreciation of you by Cerra, and well deserved. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t note that throughout Cerra’s piece and, alas, in yours, the name of the master of jazz writing, Whitney Balliett, is misspelled “Balliet.” Tsk, tsk.
    (Yarggh. I hate it when that happens. I fixed my goof. I’ll alert Steve Cerra. Thanks, Jon. — DR)

  2. says

    Thanks, Jon, for catching this egregious mistake on my part; and to think that I had about a half dozen books with Whitney’s last name plastered all over them around me as I was writing this piece! I must have gotten up over 5 wpm in my typing and just lost sight of the correct spelling of Mr. Balliett’s last name. Perhaps I should try Gene Lees as my next “Notable Critic,” although with my luck it will come out as “Gene Lee.”