Martial Solal: Suite pour une frise


Suite pour une frise


Martial Solal (piano)


At Newport '63 (RCA-Victor)


Martial Solal (piano), Teddy Kotick (bass), Paul Motian (drums).

Composed by Martial Solal


Recorded: New York, July 15, 1963


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Martial Solal had already recorded this "suite" the year before with his French trio, but to present this 11-minute piece to the Newport audience with sidemen who were unfamiliar with his playing was a bold gesture. In fact, though this music was actually played live on stage, this track, like all others on the album, was taped a few days later in a New York studio, with overdubbed applause. All the same, Motian and Kotick, who had to learn the themes by heart, must be praised for a great job. Solal hardly auditioned this former Bill Evans rhythm team, which was proposed to him on his arrival in the USA, where he had never before performed. But the French pianist was so familiar with American musicians either living in Paris or passing through that he felt totally at ease with pickup American sidemen. Solal's music may have seemed strange to them and to the audience, since virtually nobody stateside played like him back then. But in 1963 his main influences were still American, and it's more his synthesis of styles from Tatum to Phineas Newborn through Bud Powell, and the form of this lengthy tune with constantly shifting tempos, that may have surprised. Actually, the virtuosity and modernity of Solal's playing might leave some listeners dumbfounded even today.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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