Martial Solal: Triangle




Martial Solal (piano)


Triangle (JMS)

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Martial Solal (piano), Marc Johnson (bass), Peter Erskine (drums).

Composed by Martial Solal


Recorded: Paris, May 1995


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

When Martial Solal looks for American musicians as partners for a trio session, he goes for the best: Teddy Kotick and Paul Motian in 1963 at Newport, Johnson and Erskine here, Gary Peacock and Motian again in 1997 in Paris. Of course the virtuoso pianist's music is difficult to play and requires mature sidemen and consummate instrumental technicians. But everyone knows that a summit meeting can never guarantee an optimal musical result. On this track, which Solal penned specially for this record, the relationship between the three masters is good, but there's a slight sense of stiffness that prevents the music from flowing effortlessly. The song is interestingly melodic, with a somewhat Ellingtonian feel at times. Solal is in a comparatively discreet mood, refraining from his frequent virtuoso streaks. Johnson and Erskine have short solo spots, and are as musical as ever as accompanists. But one can't help thinking that if this studio session had been recorded after a couple of live dates, the empathy between the players and the intensity of the music would have benefited. A record producer's ideas are not always best.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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