Plays Ellington

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steven Loewy
Incredibly, both at the time this was recorded and when it was released, the very fine French pianist and outstanding arranger Martial Solal was barely a blip on the radar screen in the United States, despite decades of output. Here, he produces one of the best dedications to Duke Ellington ever with total reworkings of some of the Duke's most famous compositions. Solal writes that his goal was ."..to show, by means of well-known pieces, that the job of the arranger is actually a compositional task." In this, he succeeds. By transforming such classics of the jazz repertoire as "Satin Doll," "Caravan," and "Take the 'A' Train," Solal's 12-piece 13 on "'A' Train" ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steven Loewy
Incredibly, both at the time this was recorded and when it was released, the very fine French pianist and outstanding arranger Martial Solal was barely a blip on the radar screen in the United States, despite decades of output. Here, he produces one of the best dedications to Duke Ellington ever with total reworkings of some of the Duke's most famous compositions. Solal writes that his goal was ."..to show, by means of well-known pieces, that the job of the arranger is actually a compositional task." In this, he succeeds. By transforming such classics of the jazz repertoire as "Satin Doll," "Caravan," and "Take the 'A' Train," Solal's 12-piece 13 on "'A' Train" "Dodecaband" is the pianist's main instrument, his piano a close second. Snippets of melody are interweaved among entirely new constructs that retain the spirit of the originals but nonetheless offer new perspectives on the pieces. These are not simple arrangements but highly complex, thoroughly compelling works of art. Although the band had been around for more than a decade when this was recorded, few if any of its members -- other than Solal -- were likely to be recognized outside of France. The relatively few solo improvisations are first-rate, but it is Solal who steals the show here, as well, with characteristically inventive and original creations that offer endless streams of ideas. His arrangements are the centerpiece, and deservedly so.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/9/2001
  • Label: Dreyfus
  • UPC: 764911661322
  • Catalog Number: 36613

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Martial Solal Primary Artist, Piano
Jacques Bolognesi Trombone
Jean Louis Chautemps Drums, Saxophone
Roger Guerin Trumpet
Denis Leloup Trombone
Umberto Pagnini Drums
Tony Russo Trumpet
Eric Le Lann Trumpet
Jean-Pierre Solves Flute, Baritone Saxophone
Didier Havet Tuba
Patrice Caratini Double Bass, Contrabass (Vocal)
Sylvain Beuf Saxophone
François Merville Drums
Technical Credits
Martial Solal Arranger, Liner Notes
Billy Strayhorn Composer
Pierre Bornard Engineer
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