Martial Solal (born August 23, 1927 in Algiers, Algeria) is
a French jazz pianist and composer, who is probably most
widely known for the music he wrote for Jean-Luc Godard's
debut feature film À bout de souffle (1960).
Solal was the son of an opera singer and piano teacher, who
learnt the instrument from the age of six, settling in
Paris in 1950. He soon began working with leading musicians
including Django Reinhardt and expatriates from the United
States like Sidney Bechet and Don Byas. He formed a quartet
(occasionally also leading a big band) in the late 1950s,
although he had been recording as a leader since 1953.
Solal then began composing film music, eventually providing
over twenty scores.
In 1963 he made a much admired appearance at the Newport
Jazz Festival in Rhode Island; the Newport '63 album
purporting to be a recording of this gig is actually a