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French pianist Martial Solal ranks at the top of the European jazz pantheon. 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. Solal also worked on the soundtracks for such iconic films as Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless and Orson WellesThe Trial. Noted for his virtuosity, unique stylistic approach, and the originality of his compositions, Solal stands as one of the giants of the instrument. Throughout his career, Solal has been lauded for his solo performances. This 1979 MPS album catches his soloistic genius in full. All but one are well-known standards; under Solal’s fingers they become adventurous rides along his musical stream of conscious. I’ll Remember April begins with an aleatoric intro before moving into moments of playful asides, romance, and musical metaphysics. The only original on the album, Solal’s Aigue Marine has Martial in a more pensive mood. Still, his ruminations cover a lot of musical territory. Tangerine contains elements of swing, a bit of stride, an amazing walking bass line in the left hand, and some right hand runs that set the keyboards on fire. Solal attacks Miles Davis’ classic Tune Up head-on, sideways, and upside down, while on Poinciana, Solal’s approach ranges from the romantic to an aggressive minor feel. Stompin’ At The Savoy contains changing tempos, chordal and melodic surprises, while Solal intersperses musical quotes throughout his masterfully entertaining Lover Come Back To Me. Solal once said that technique is half in the fingers and half in the head. Amazing fingers. Amazing head. Amazing music.

More releases of Martial Solal

Martial Solal with Lee Konitz, John Scofield & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

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