MARTIAL SOLAL BIG BAND
LP GAUMONT 753.804 – France, 1981
I can’t understand why this fabulous album has not been re-issued yet. The 1984 Big Band LP was re-issued by Dreyfuss but not this one.
There is no contest that Martial Solal is Europe’s most original jazz pianist and probably one of the true geniuses of jazz piano. His works as a band leader is much less documented. Actually his first incursions into big band territory date from the fifties.
The following is quoted from the JAZZPAR website.
To label Martial Solal is close to impossible - and futile too. Generally speaking, he is some kind of a "modern" player, but one that sometimes reminds you of the "classic" jazz masters, sometimes pioneers the future. You may find traces of Tatum, Garner, Ellington, Monk, Powell, Evans, Peterson a. o., as well as a certain undertone of both French-North African folklore and European art music - but all of it as ingredients of a digested and unified whole sounding unmistakably as Solal.(…)
Solal, a piano virtuoso and a great improviser, is a serious and self-disciplined artist. The attendant serenity and maturity during later years are certainly not attempts of explaining away anything like artistic stagnation. On the contrary, Solal continues to expand his musical language. He is not just staying on firm ground but is as any creative improviser taking risks every now and then.
Some of these extraordinary powers and capabilities also form part of the basis of Martial Solal as a composer and arranger. Important achievements have been music written for and performed by larger groups, in most cases conducted by himself. These works are often catchy at first as well as substantial and ambiguous, revealing more facets at each hearing.
In continuation of his piano playing the composer Martial Solal is in an even higher degree not limited to stylistic conventions, his work often characterized by deviations from what one would expect, by sudden contrast and deliberate discontinuity. Equal original is the sounds, the shadings, and the orchestral colors he is bringing to light writing for the standard big band instrumentation. He deserves full credit as one of the great jazz composers of today.
Solal's imposing stature, as a piano player mainly presented in solo, duo and trio contexts, has overshadowed his remarkable big band achievements. This situation is one of several reasons justifying the election of Martial Solal as The JAZZPAR Prize Winner 1999.
Martial Solal Big Band – Martial Solal Big Band
A1 Texte Et Prétexte 7:55
A2 Valse A Trois Temps 6:26
A3 Tango 8:48
B Suite 21:38
Arranged By, Composed By, Piano, Conductor – Martial Solal
Trumpet – Eric Le Lann, Roger Guerin*, Tony Russo
Trombone – Hamid Belhocine, Jacques Bolognesi
Tuba – Marc Steckar
Reeds – Francis Cournet, François Jeanneau, Jacques Di Donato, Jean-Pierre Debarbat, Philippe Maté, Pierre Gossez
Guitar : Christian Escoudé
Violin – Pierre Blanchard
Cello – Hervé Derrien
Bass – Cesarius Alvim
Drums – André Ceccarelli
Recorded June 15-17, 1981 at Studio Davout, Paris.
Mastered at Master One.
If you like adventurous modern big band and enjoyed the recently posted Steve Bauer Orchestra, this one is for you!