Strong enough to make the piano feel little

Making a jazz film about Michel Petrucciani, especially when the musician is no longer around, is not easy. His life is a story of exuberant triumph over challenge, and of the pleasures and prices of living life to the full. The film chronicles his overindulgence in food, drugs, wine, women and discarded friends. Petrucciani, we learn, was irresistible to women and, one former consort claims, was as talented between the sheets as on the keys. He died at age 36 in New York in 1999, not so much from his handicap as foolishly going out into a cold New Year’s Eve with his fragile lungs and then catching pneumonia.

What the film never says is that music may be what nourished him, that every hour at the piano may have added an hour or more to his life. “When I play, I play with my heart and my head and my spirit… I don’t play to people’s heads, but to their hearts.” – Michel Petrucciani

This little man gave as a lesson: Live your life!

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