Martial Solal: Solo Piano

Pianist Martial Solal has had a wide and varied career, comfortable in settings ranging from stride, to swing to free form and modern classical. This album of previously unreleased material,finds him in Los Angeles recording in a solo format for some previously unreleased 1966 recordings, and while the song titles are from the bebop catalogue, the interpretations here by this sui generis artist are all over the musical map.
His touch on the Steinway is strong, dark and confident, and his left hand gives hints to the pulse on pieces such as “Groovin’ High” and “Yardbird Suite” while his right hand creates Stravinsky-styled extravaganzas and harmonies. He’s gloriously angular and elliptical on Monk pieces “Blue Monk” and the stark and foreboding “’Round Midnight” while celebratory on Bud Powell’s “Un Poco Loco.” Cerebral and sophisticated, Solal puts starch into Charlie Parker’s suit.
Fresh Sound Records

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