Two European jazz giants, members of the international pantheon of greats, pair off to create a moveable musical feast. French pianist Martial Solal’s 1963 appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, and the subsequent years of work with Lee Konitz, along with his own groups and recordings with the likes of Paul Motian, Gary Peacock and John Scofield affirm his standing as a major player. Between the mid-1970’s and his death in 2005, Norwegian bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted-Pedersen was one of the most in-demand jazz musicians on the planet. 26 albums with Dexter Gordon and 9 with Oscar Peterson, reflects only a small sampling of the bassist’s depth and diversity. This is one of six albums on MPS with Solal; three include NHØP. The album includes six standards and two originals. Miles Davis’ Swing Spring is given a rousing post-modernist treatment with Solal’s slashing lines and off-the-cuff altered chords. Some amazing trading fours between Martial and NHØP. The standard ballad My One And Only Love is given an impressionistic treatment with the two playing off one another as they improvise together. Solal’s Note-Ability once again displays the duo’s uncanny ability to intuit each other’s play on a piece that at times skirts the harmonic-melodic edges while maintaining a voracious sense of swing. In 1934, The Continental was the first song to win an Oscar. The two re-work this evergreen into a modern classic flush with counterpoint and hip musical asides. Like the man himself, Solal’s Lalos flies in a myriad of whimsical musical directions, and the NHØP ballad Afternoons Sentiment features an emotive bowed bass spurred on by piano. Autumn Leaves is transformed with this fresh reworking of one of the most played standards in the jazz repertoire, and the two take a musical view of Charlie Parker’s chop-twister, Donna Lee, both from inside and out. As for the album – it’s a masterpiece of virtuoso play and a hell of a lot of fun to listen to!