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Happy Release Day: Martial Solal – Live in Ottobrunn

The unexpected always seems logical with him, wrote one critic. On “Live in Ottobrunn” Martial Solal proves this from the very first note: Only a D is heard at first, which keeps you on tenterhooks until a pianistic whirlwind follows: expressionistic disharmonies dissolve into blue notes, glissandi runs lead into long sustained chords, classical motifs merge with echoes of half of jazz history. Everything is rhythmically varied in a highly complex way, without ever falling out of time.

And only slowly does the standard emerge that provides the melodic basis: “My Funny Valentine”. As if under a burning glass, the first piece of the performance now documented as a double album at the Ottobrunn concerts in December 2018 thus already shows the entire high art of the “leading French jazz pianist,” as it understatedly says in the encyclopedia: Martial Solal, who has just turned 95, is after all a solitaire of jazz, indeed of music history.

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