Two outstanding improvisers make this duet session thrilling from start to finish. The pair begins and ends with recognized standards, while filling out the inside with songs they’ve written (three apiece). Martial Solal’s crisp keyboard approach blends seamlessly with Johnny Griffin’s lyrical playfulness. Both piano and saxophone sustain by employing tremolos and energetic cascades. Solal’s creative spirit leans toward the dramatic, while Griffin’s interest lies closer to melodic charm. Both artists balance their presentation with ballad reflections and swinging landscapes. Solal favors stirring, wide-interval leaps and a precise percussiveness. Griffin, on the other hand, makes himself comfortable issuing legato statements of gentle passion. Both paint an exotic scene of straight-ahead jazz, dimly lit in the early morning hours and overflowing with a lifetime of valuable ideas.
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