28 dicembre 1962 - 6 gennaio 1999
28 December 1962, Montpelier, France
Jan 1999, New York, New York
playing with Kenny Clarke and Clark Terry at the age of 15, Petrucciani moved to
Paris, recorded his first album, and formed a successful duo with Lee Konitz
just two years later. Moving to California in 1982, he joined Charles Lloyd's
new quartet. However, it was a solo performance at Carnegie Hall as part of the
Kool Jazz Festival that resulted in widespread critical acclaim. More recently
Petrucciani has signed a contract with Blue Note Records, and worked with Wayne
Shorter in Manhattan Project. He is a melodic, thoughtful pianist influenced by
New York Time
Michel Petrucciani, Jazz Pianist, Is Dead
NEW YORK -- Michel Petrucciani, a French jazz pianist and composer with an
international following whose keyboard virtuosity earned him comparisons to Art
Tatum and Bill Evans, died Wednesday at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan. He
was 36 and lived in Manhattan.
The cause was a pulmonary infection, said a representative of his French record
company, Francis Dreyfus Music.
Petrucciani was a national hero in France, and his records were best sellers in
Europe. French President Jacques Chirac was among the many who paid tribute to
him Wednesday, praising his ability to "renew jazz, giving himself up to
his art with passion, courage and musical genius." He called him an "example
The career of Petrucciani, who was considered one of the great romantics of the
jazz piano, lourished in spite of a severe physical disability. The pianist was
born with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as "glass bones," a
disease that stunted his growth (he was only three feet tall and weighed barely
50 pounds) and weakened his bones. Petrucciani had to be carried onto the stage,
and he used a special attachment to work the sustaining pedal of the piano.
The ailment didn't affect his hands, however, and he played with a seemingly
inexhaustible vigor and enthusiasm.
Petrucciani was born to Italian parents in Montpellier, France. His family was
musical, and as a child he played the drums in a band with his father, Tony, a
guitarist, and his brother Louis, a bassist. After studying classical music for
eight years, he turned to jazz full time because he loved to improvise and
wanted to write his own music.
He began his professional career when he was 15, playing for the drummer and
vibraphonist Kenny Clarke.
Moving to Paris, he recorded his first album at 17, and he was appearing
regularly at European jazz festivals while still a teen-ager. After a visit to
New York he toured France in a duo with the saxophonist Lee Konitz, with whom he
recorded an album of duets.
While in California in 1981, Petrucciani was discovered by the saxophonist
Charles Lloyd, who made him a member of his quartet. They toured Europe and
recorded an album, "Montreux '82." One of his most acclaimed early
recordings, "100 Hearts" (Concord), was an album of solos.
Between 1986 and 1994, he made seven albums for Blue Note Records, including
"Power of Three" (with Wayne Shorter and Jim Hall), and an acclaimed
album of original songs, "Michel Plays Petrucciani" (Blue Note).
In 1994 he was made a knight of the Legion of Honor in Paris.
For all the comparisons to Bill Evans, Petrucciani had found his own style,
which was more aggressive, fuller and sunnier than that of his idol and
incorporated secondary influences as disparate as McCoy Tyner and Debussy.
A marriage to Gilda Butta, a pianist, ended in divorce.
He is survived by his companion, Isabelle, his publicist said, and by a son,
Alexandre, and a stepson, Rachid Roperch, both of Paris, from a previous
At the time of his death, he was hoping to set up an international jazz school
"It's my life's work," he said. "Jazz is dying out."
Pianist Michel Petrucciani Dies At 36
by Drew Wheeler
Michel Petrucciani, the French jazz pianist whose
Petrucciani's small size--around three feet tall--was
Petrucciani, the son of jazz guitarist Antoine
Petrucciani recorded a series of albums for the Owl
His most recent releases have been for producer
LA SUA MUSICA NEI CD:
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL (formazioni varie),
THE BLUE NOTE YEARS, BLUE
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, J.F.J. CLARK, A. ROMANO,
MICHEL PETRUCCIANI, OWL
NOTES N' NOTES, EMI
LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD,
GEORG WEIN 1985
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, P. DANIELSSON,
E. ZIGMUND, LIVE
AT VILLAGE VANGUARD,
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, P. DANIELSSON,
E. ZIGMUND, PIANISM,
POWER OF THREE, BLUE
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, J. HALL, W. SHORTER,
POWER OF THREE,
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, R. HAYNES, A. FOSTER, G.
PEACOCK, E. GOMEZ, J. ABERCROMBIE,
BLUE NOTES 1987
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, F.DI CASTRI, A. ROMANO,
DATE WITH TIME, OWL
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, A. HOLZMAN, S. LOGAN, A. M'BOOP.
V. JONES, LIVE,
BLUE NOTES 1991
PROMENADE WITH DUKE, BLUE
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, D. HOLLAND, T. WILLIAMS, V.
PAGLIARIN, N. KRASSIK, P. LEMARCHAND, V. COURTOIS,
DREYFUSS JAZZ 1994
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, E. LOUISS,
CONFERENCE DE PRESSE, DREYFUSS
AU THEATRE DES CHAMPS-ELISEES,
DREYFUSS JAZZ 1995
MICHEL PETRUCCIANI, MUSICA
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, S. GRAPPELLI S.,
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, S. GADD, A. JACKSON, B.
BROOKMEYER, F. BOLTRO,
S. DI BATTISTA, BOTH
LIVE MICHEL PETRUCCIANI,
DREYFUSS JAZZ 1998
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, PETRUCCIANI LOUIS, WHITE
DREYFUSS JAZZ 1999
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, NIELS HENNING ORSTED PEDERSEN,
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL (in molte formazioni),
A MICHEL. LA MUSICA PIU' BELLA DI MICHEL PETRUCCIANI,
PETRUCCIANI MICHEL, PETRUCCIANI TONY,