Lee Konitz & Martial Solal: Just Friends
Star Eyes Hamburg 1983 (HatOlogy)
Recorded: Hamburg, Germany, November 11, 1983
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
These two had played together on and off for 15 years at the time of this meeting, and each time they reunited showed the same empathy and telepathic relationship. So, although they talk about themselves as "brothers," it's only natural that they should tackle a tune called "Just Friends." Konitz begins alone, tentatively turning around the melody that he states in an oblique way only when Solal joins him. The alto then becomes more voluble, often rising to the upper register in a most expressive manner, while the piano comps in a comparatively restrained way. Only when the alto leaves him alone does Solal let his brilliant, extrovert style overwhelm the keyboard. And even then, he may be considered moderate. Which gives us a clue to the relationship between those two musicians: they tend to give one another what they possess, and their partner has less. Moderation from Konitz to Solal; extroversion from Solal to Konitz. Just friends? Much more than that, obviously!
Reviewer: Thierry Quénum