Martial Solal: Accalmie




Martial Solal (piano)


Sans Tambour ni Trompette (RCA)

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Martial Solal (piano),

Gilbert Rovere, Jean-François Jenny-Clark (basses)


Composed by Martial Solal


Recorded: Paris, October 1970


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

You can always count on Martial Solal for a pun. Many of his titles play on words that can't be translated from French into any other language. This album's title, for example, has to do with the unusual type of trio that Solal chose: piano and two basses. Literally in French the title means "without drum or trumpet." But it also means "unobtrusively, without any fuss," exactly the sort of double-entendre that Solal likes.

How about the music? Much less complicated than the wordplay may suggest. First it's a quiet piece, as it's title says ("lull," in English), and the gentle walking of the two basses while the piano plays simple chords in the beginning establishes the general atmosphere. Tempo changes, which Solal often favors, are rare here, going from slow to medium fast with an emphasis on melody that is unusual for the pianist. Obviously the context of two low and soft instruments helps him find other grounds to explore. Solal chose two basses in the first place because his drummer, then a substitute, had failed him for a trio concert. Thus pushed in new directions, Solal assembled a brand new repertoire for this group. But the trio sounded too new at the time in France, and Solal had to disband it after having recorded what he still considers one of his best discs.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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