Martial Solal: Tea for Two


Tea for Two


Martial Solal (piano)


Longitude (Camjazz 5029)

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Martial Solal (piano),

Francois Moutin (bass), Louis Moutin (drums)


Composed by I. Caesar, O. A. Harbach & V. Youmans


Recorded: Paris, April 4-6, 2007


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

At age 80, Martial Solal exhibits more energy and youthful enthusiasm in his playing than most pianists half his age. He is at once a stylist who plays in a disjointed, unpredictable manner that can be disturbing to the ear of some. His keyboard proficiency is phenomenal, and his exploratory probing is inventive and challenging to the listener. On the standard "Tea for Two," Solal removes all but the barest of identifying melody lines and creates a vehicle where he can deconstruct and then reconstruct to his own liking the essence of the tune. His attack approaches a level of vivaciousness that can sound at times almost angry, but he manages to strike a delicate balance between that emotion and manic unleashed exuberance, ably assisted by the symbiotic playing of twin brothers bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Louis Moutin. You have never heard this old familiar song played like this, and perhaps it is too far explored for those who like to follow a melody, but make no mistake Solal is expanding the boundaries of both time and space, and it is interesting to hear what comes out of this still fertile musical mind. Always engaging in his own unique way, Martial Solal shows why at any age he is still a joy to listen to. Bravo to the maestro.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello

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