He may turn 80 this year, but the music of the French, Algeria born pianist Martial Solal seems to be blessed with eternal youth. At the beginning of the forties he worked with local Algiers bands before, in 1950, leaving for Paris, the city where he developed his most striking quality: the chameleonic capability to adjust himself to the playing styles of very different musicians. From Don Byas to Sydney Bechet, from Lucky Thompson to Django Reinhardt: whoever it was, Solal always came up with an appropriate answer.
In 1968 he started a musical partnership with alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, a musical friendship which has lasted up to the North Sea Jazz Festival 2007. In the forties and fifties Konitz' ethereal sound floated high above the orchestras of Claude Thornhill and Stan Kenton. With Kenton he even had to work on a somewhat more firm sound
because he often wasn't able to make himself heard in the crescendos of the exuberant big band. 'If I ever get to play for Kenton again,' he once stated, 'It'll be as a drummer.' In his duos with Solal his delicate playing often came out the best.
Do you want to buy the cd? Click here and for Lee Konitz here