All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Reassessing

4

Lee Konitz & Martial Solal: Lee Konitz and Martial Solal: Star Eyes 1983

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Lee Konitz and Martial Solal

Star Eyes 1983

Hatology

2009

Even in his eighties, pianist Martial Solal has proven to be the Higgs' Boson of jazz. He readily demonstrates the substantial mass he brings to music most recently on his uniformly excellent Live at the Village Vanguard: I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Cam Jazz, 2008). This recording is sub-atomic, elemental jazz ,or, in the literary vernacular, post-modern, deconstructive jazz. Solal dismantled the Great American Songbook, revealing the provocative intellect and seamy interior of this great songwriting. He also demonstrated that free improvisation can be incorporated into the familiar, revealing something new.

But what of Solal's salad days? Was he as forward-thinking 30 years ago? Certainly. He produced something near a desert island disc with alto saxophonist Lee Konitz at the New-Jazz-Festival in Hamburg in 1983 with Star Eyes 1983 (Hatology 1983/2009). This recording has justly enjoyed its revivals because it finds two masters of like mind making the most progressive jazz without flying full-force into saxophonist John Coltrane circa 1966.

The standards interpretation on Star Eyes 1983 is far more a function of experience that it is preparation. Jazz musicians simply do not sit down, putting pen to paper, and produce music like this. Rather they get on stage after a lifetime in the profession, call a tune, and play...and sometimes, when the stars properly align, masters bring forth a masterpiece. Telepathically, Konitz and Solal dismantle two war horses in "Body and Soul" and "What's New," laying the melodies open for inspection. Each gives a master's class on several eras of jazz within only a few minutes. Solal will pass from Cecil Taylor percussive dissonance to Willie "The Lion" Smith stride in the same measure. For his part, Konitz vamps bebop, but not at the expense of his intellectual lessons learned from Lennie Tristano.

What Solal gave Konitz on this recording was freedom, a mental and creative elasticity that the saxophonist could use as a springboard for improvisation beyond the normal harmonic coloring within-the- lines. This music is perfect for the probing jazz enthusiast who cannot make sense of late Coltrane or fellow saxophonist Eric Dolphy. There is enough of the melody retained to see where the artists are going and appreciate them for it.

Tracks: Just Friends; Star Eyes; It's You; Body & Soul; Subconscious- Lee; Fluctuat Nec Mergitur; April; What's New; Cherokee.

Personnel: Lee Konitz: alto saxophone; Martial Solal: piano.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
Prisma

Prisma

QFTF
2018

buy
Frescalalto

Frescalalto

Impulse!
2017

buy
First Meeting

First Meeting

Whirlwind Recordings
2014

buy
Enfants Terribles: Live at the Blue Note

Enfants Terribles:...

Half Note Records
2012

buy
Lee Konitz: Four Classic Albums

Lee Konitz: Four...

Avid Records UK
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Full House Reassessing
Full House
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 12, 2018
Read Of Things Not Seen Reassessing
Of Things Not Seen
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 8, 2018
Read Shorty Rogers: Short Stops Reassessing
Shorty Rogers: Short Stops
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Oscar Peterson & Stephane Grappelli: Skol Reassessing
Oscar Peterson & Stephane Grappelli: Skol
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 10, 2013
Read Dizzy Gillespie: Dizzy’s Big 4 Reassessing
Dizzy Gillespie: Dizzy’s Big 4
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 26, 2013
Read Art Tatum: Solo Masterpieces, Volume One Reassessing
Art Tatum: Solo Masterpieces, Volume One
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 24, 2013
Read "Full House" Reassessing Full House
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "Of Things Not Seen" Reassessing Of Things Not Seen
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 8, 2018
Read "Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café" Live Reviews Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "Leni Stern: Finally The Fame Has Come" SoCal Jazz Leni Stern: Finally The Fame Has Come
by Jim Worsley
Published: February 9, 2018