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Martial Solal: NY1: Live At The Village Vanguard (2003)

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Martial Solal: NY1: Live At The Village Vanguard No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

This live recording allows one to share the reaction of the audience as well as the creative energy exhibited by the Martial Solal Trio during the group's week-long engagement in New York just a week after the horrific September 11, 2001 World Trade Center tragedies. The Greenwich Village nightclub served as an ideal spot for this recording. Solal's piano is heard loud and clear, with a crisp right hand and deep, forceful left. Bass and drums remain balanced and offer a wide array of colors. The result gives the listener a genuine feeling of being there.

Through this album, the pianist offers New York City a remarkable tribute. The original composition "Suspect Rhythm, co-written with his daughter Claudia, pulls it all together. Solal's dramatic, avant-garde tinges merge with the solid foundation of a comfortable, walking bass line. His creative keyboard gestures bring a vocal-like presence to the session. Similarly, bassist Francois Moutin communicates through his instrument with a language that the three artists can readily understand. His unique forms of expression require a second or third listen for optimal enjoyment. The voice of experience carries the bassist through many different and colorful adventures. Drummer Bill Stewart, as well, accomplishes his promised tasks with an ounce of tradition and a ton of new-fashioned fire. Sparks fly left, right and center, as the percussionist reaches out to get it all.

Through his vast experience, Solal knows how to balance independent fire with conservative polish. Each of the three classic standards on the program receives fair play, with a gentle, stated piano melody followed by improvisation over the song's harmonic structure and leading edge creativity. Recommended, Martial Solal's live session brings his unique way with a melody to us with passion.

Track Listing: NY-1; What Is This Thing Called Love; Suspect Rhythm; Body and Soul; Zig Zag; Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise; Lombardy.

Personnel: Martial Solal: piano; Bill Stewart: drums; Francois Moutin: bass.

Record Label: Blue Note Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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