Renowned for its commitment to presenting musical artistry in full flower, Dreyfus Records proudly announces the release of two unprecedented 3-CD boxed sets, one each from late pianist Michel Petrucciani and accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano, and both entitled Boxed Set (Concerts Inedits), to be released September 12. The collections feature the jazz masters in three different contexts--performing solo, as part of a duo and in trio--thus displaying various elements of their improvisational dexterity and empathy.
Able to overcome the rare bone disease that stunted his growth to develop into one of the world's top jazz pianists, Michel Petrucciani was greatly esteemed for his lyrical, imaginative playing, plus the emotion and force he was able to muster and project despite his physical disability. Hearing Petrucciani on the Boxed Set (Concerts Inedits) (DRY-CD-36607) compilation is to experience a genius at his peak. The solo disc, taken from the pianist's show-stopping set at the Antibes Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival in 1993, contains a half-dozen standards ("Autumn Leaves" and 'Round Midnight" among others) as well as his sumptuous ballad Hidden Joy." With bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen at a 1994 Jazzhouse date in Copenhagen, Petrucciani offers on the second disc surprising and wholly entertaining takes on nine classic songs from the jazz canon, showing a broad taste in material that includes show tunes, bebop, blues and beyond. The trio disc, which is for the most part a hard-charging affair, finds the pianist matched with his brother Louis on bass and Lenny White on drums at a 1994 Nabari, Japan concert. Together they explode on Petrucciani's compositions Manhattan" and Dumb Breaks," then lift the energy level even higher on Eddy Louiss's pulsating Les Grelots."
Petrucciani was born in Orange, France in 1962. Surrounded by the many musicians in his family, he progressed quickly on piano, giving his first professional concert at 13. Three years later he launched his recording career with his debut album, Flash. In 1982, Petrucciani moved to California and helped lure saxman Charles Lloyd out of early retirement while also securing a reputation as one of jazz's most talented young pianists. When Petrucciani passed away suddenly in January, 1999, the jazz world lost a spirited and vibrant artist. Petrucciani's Boxed Set (Concerts Inedits) will certainly enrich his already formidable legacy.
The French accordionist Richard Galliano, born in 1950, was enamored by his father's own command of the instrument early on, and soon followed in his footsteps: by the time he was a teenager, Galliano was regularly winning competitions and sitting-in with well-known musicians. After years of working as an accompanist, however, Galliano was inspired by the music of modern tango maestro Astor Piazzolla to create from chansons, tango and jazz his own New Musette," which he has further defined in the last 25 years with recordings and concert performances that featured luminaries like Chet Baker, Toots Theilemans, Ron Carter, and his most consistent foil, clarinet-sax player Michel Portal.
Galliano's Boxed Set (Concerts Inedits) (DRY-CD-36606) starts off with the astonishing instrumentalist alone with his prized Victoria accordion on nine cuts, including five of his own dreamy mood pieces, at the 1998 Umbria Jazz Winter Festival in Italy. Needless to say, the spectrum of sound that Galliano orchestrates is simply remarkable, and his sense of rhythm and breath-taking shifts in timbre are enough to clearly set him apart from his peers. The duo disc, from a 1998 German concert, reprises to some extent Blow Up, the superb 'live' recording Galliano made with Portal, although the program is considerably different.
Meanwhile, Galliano's trio mates on the third disc, drummer Daniel Humair and the late bassist Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark, do an admirable job embellishing the accordionist's performance on this 1996 Montreux Jazz Festival date.
Beautifully packaged with a full-color booklet that includes an appreciative essay and loads of great photographic images, these two Boxed Set (Concerts Inedits) boxed sets, comprised of unreleased 'live' performances recorded in sparkling sound quality, are indeed works of art.