Review by Willard Manus

Two years ago Resonance Records released Resonance Big Band Plays the Legacy of Oscar Peterson, a fabulous CD on which Marian Petrescu, the Rumanian-born piano virtuoso, made his American debut. An Oscar Peterson disciple, the 39-year-old Petrescu not only channeled his idol but turned the CD into a showcase for his own remarkable gifts--gifts that prompted one critic to call him "the Horowitz of jazz piano."

Now Petrescu, who lives most of the year in Finland, where he heads a music school and teaches both jazz and classical, is back with a new CD, THRIVIN'--LIVE AT THE JAZZ STANDARD (Resonance Records). Heading a quartet comprised of the guitarist (and fellow-European) Andreas Oberg, bassist David Finck and drummer Mark McLean, Petrescu lights up the jazz sky, proving once again that he is indeed a keyboard meteor.

Whether quietly and romantically investigating Miles Davis' classic, "Blue in Green" or attacking such finger-poppin' numbers as "Cakewalk" or "On the Trail" (a fiery section from Ferde Grof's Grand Canyon Suite), Petrescu plays with impeccable taste, feeling and virtuosity throughout--and he's matched every note of the way by his equally gifted bandmates.