Thursday, June 17, 2010

Martial Solal & Dave Douglas

Here's a little love in the form of a consummate jazz duo: piano player Martial Solal and avant garde trumpet man Dave Douglas.  This is one of those cases where you get to the heart of the music by going through the cover and album title.  Rue de Seine puts us in Paris, a city I have otherwise never visited.  Martial is apparently legendary in France, which is a good place to be legendary.   There is a brilliant piece on him at the British Guardian.
Martial Solal lives in Chatou – the island-like Paris suburb on the Seine they call the ville des impressionistes. His house is so unlike any jazz musician's home I've visited that I feel I've flipped into a parallel world. Peering like a child through the high metal fence at a tree-shrouded villa beyond an ornamental garden, I'm in a fairytale in which jazz artists are feted, instead of consigned to dividing up the door money. But eventually I have to break the spell, press the buzzer, and wind my way through the shapely flowerbeds to meet France's most famous living jazz artist.
Yes, it would be nice if all jazz greats had ornamental gardens.  But it's hard to argue that legendary American jazz men aren't treated pretty well.  See Wynton Marsalis.

The Solal/Douglas duo is very impressive.  Duos are often a bit dry, but this is anything but dry.  I have a special fondness for one number, a tribute to soprano sax genius Steve Lacy.  So I will offer that.  
Martial Solal and Dave Douglas/Blues to Steve Lacy/Rue de Seine
 You can pick it up at eMusic for a song.  You don't want to miss 'Elk's Club' and their inventive interpretations of 'Have You Met Miss Jones?' and 'Body and Soul'.