Born in Algeria in 1927, French pianist Martial Solal ranks at the top of the European jazz pantheon. Trained as a classical pianist, he discovered jazz at the age of 12 and never looked back. An internationally acclaimed musician who has worked with the music’s “who’s who”, he has played and recorded at such hallowed jazz settings as the Newport Jazz Festival and New York’s Village Vanguard. Noted for his virtuosity, unique stylistic approach, and the originality of his compositions, Solal stands as one of the giants of the instrument.
Suite For Trio
On this MPS release Solal teams up with jazz giants German bassist Niels-Henning Pederson and Swiss drummer Daniel Humair in what music journalist Karl Lippegaus described as “a European dream trio”. Solal originals grace the first three album tracks. Coming Yesterday features Solal and Pederson playing the difficult melody line in unison, followed by an inventive piano solo and Pederson’s exploratory play punctuated by Solal’s pointillistic chordal jabs. No Delay swings from postimpressionist modernism on through to a Latin feel and into a bluesy bass solo in a rollercoaster ride of musical emotions. Suite For Two again displays Solal’s creative genius as it pushes musical boundaries in what could be described as ‘Solal jazz’. Solal’s abstract introduction to ‘S Wonderful settles down to a swinging version of the Gershwin classic, replete with humorous pianistic asides and some tasty brush work by Humair. Cherokee, the piece that Charlie Parker used to redefine jazz improvisation, starts off with Pederson playing over the changes before Solal dismembers then reconstructs the piece. After each trio member has a short solo say on Here’s That Rainy Day, the band takes on the standard at an up-tempo pace. Humair segues the trio into a dark rock beat as they walk away into the mist. A superb trio with surprises around every bend of the musical road.