Martial Solal With Jan Garbarek And The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra In Concert – 1968 – Past Daily Downbeat
Martial Solal with Jan Garbarek and The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra – November 16, 1968 – Sveriges Radio –
Jumping into the European side of Jazz this weekend with Martial Solal, along with Jan Garbarek and The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra in concert and preserved for posterity by Sveriges Radio on November 16, 1968.
French pianist, composer, and bandleader Martial Solal‘s intuitive approach to improvisation has earned him an honored place among the greatest minds in all of jazz. Thoroughly versed in the tradition from New Orleans (he worked extensively with Sidney Bechet) to big-band swing to bop to post-bop and beyond, Solal has also composed chamber music, written scores for more than 20 films, and recorded more than 70 albums as soloist and leader. For more than 60 years, Solal has personified the cross-pollinated splendor of European jazz by utilizing styles and influences from both sides of the Atlantic to generate and sustain musical ideas that almost invariably come across as intelligent, pleasant, and gratifying. Solal is highly regarded as one of the great storytelling soloists; many critics praise his unaccompanied outings — his 1954 debut French Modern Sounds, 1974’s Himself, and 1998’s Jazz ‘n (E)motion are prime examples). Likewise, Solal is also a formidable duo partner who pushes others to great heights of improvisation and harmonic inquiry. Besides Bechet, he has toured and recorded with some of the great jazz soloists, including Niels Henning Ørsted-Pedersen (Movability, 1976) Lee Konitz (Duplicity, 1978), Stéphane Grappelli (Happy Reunion, 1980), Michel Portal (Fast Mood, 1999), and modernists such as Dave Douglas (Rue De Seine, 2006) and David Liebman (Masters In Bordeaux, 2017).
The following is from Thom Jurek at AllMusic:
Jan Garbarek was born in Mysen, Norway, in 1947, the only child of a WWII Polish prisoner of war and a farmer’s daughter from Norway. He was raised in Oslo, but stateless for the first seven years of his life: no automatic citizenship or sanctioned residency was offered at that time. At 14, he heard John Coltrane on the radio, prompting an epiphany: He immediately bought a saxophone instruction book and learned fingering positions before he even had a horn. When he did get one, he took to it like water. By 1962, he’d won a competition for amateur jazz players and formed his own band. Knowledge of Coltrane’s interest in Ravi Shankar brought Garbarek to an awareness of Indian music as early as 1963. From the Coltrane Quartet, he learned much about leading a band. Coltrane’s appreciation and support for the freest spirits of “the New Thing” inspired the young saxophonist’s appreciation for Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and most notably, Albert Ayler. Scandinavia was a haven for American musicians at the time. Garbarek was able to see, hear, and learn from Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, and Johnny Griffin. In 1964, he played with Don Cherry, whose embrace of world folk traditions in free jazz proved a significant influence as well. Most important in this formative period was a four-year association with American composer and pianist George Russell. In 1969, the saxophonist’s group (that also included guitarist Terje Rypdal, bassist Arild Andersen, and drummer Jon Christenson) cut an album produced by Russell. That same year, Garbarek was invited by ECM’s Manfred Eicher to join the fledgling label’s roster; his classic debut, Afric Pepperbird, was released in 1970.
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