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Steve Holtje
Culture Catch, January 2016

Best Classical Albums 2015

This was a pleasant surprise; What a welcome “discovery”! © 2016 Culture Catch

Glyn Pursglove
MusicWeb International, July 2015

[Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua] obviously understands and admires Solal’s music…

All in all this is an enjoyable…which will be valued most by those who already admire Solal the jazz pianist. I expect to listen to it again quite a lot in the future. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, July 2015

tremendously interesting recording… © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Jed Distler, May 2015

…effortless facility and thoroughly idiomatic mastery of jazz phrasing and time keeping… © 2015 Read complete review

Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, March 2015

Solal is a magnificent virtuoso jazz pianist—one of the most brilliant and angular of modernists…

…as we discover here, performed with gymnastic agility by his younger friend Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua, he wrote solo piano classical works meant for classical performance but fully congruent with jazz piano tradition. © 2015 The Buffalo News Read complete review

Jürg Sommer
Schweiz am Sonntag, March 2015

absolutely terrific © 2015 Schweiz am Sonntag

Ludovic Florin
Jazz Magazine (France), March 2015

…Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua demonstrates superior sense of tempo and even swing phrasing. One remains astounded by the ease and perfection of execution displayed… © 2015 Jazz Magazine (France)

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2015

A diversion from the usual Grand Piano catalogue brings together music from one of the 20th century jazz legends, Martial Solal, in a disc that crosses boundaries. Born in Algeria in 1927, he grew up in France, his mother an opera singer and his father a piano teacher, his own studies starting at the age of six. The great jazz pianists attracted his attention, and it was into their world he orientated himself, becoming probably the greatest improviser of our time. His burning desire was to become a composer, and one who would write in many genres including orchestral works, though it was film scores that brought him international acclaim. The present disc covers a diverse range of solo piano music, most of the tracks having their world premiere recording. Wearing my classical hat, the 11 Etudes are Solal’s response to Chopin and Liszt seen through the eyes of jazz music, each work more structured than the disc’s free-flowing remaining tracks. The world of Satie is often in the background with his naughty use of harmonies, the music hugely demanding on the dexterity of the performer. It is a work lasting over twenty minutes and shares the bulk of the disc with the seven Jazz Preludes from 1990, a score that skirts around the influences of Gershwin. And finally we have the Ballade for Two Pianos where he toys with classical atonality, Solal joining Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua, a pianist well known in the world of ‘classics’. Having as a young man I passed through my progressive jazz phase, I have enjoyed the disc, and admire Ferrand-N’Kaoua’s instinctive approach to the mood of improvisation which holds sway throughout. Recorded three years ago, the French recording is immaculate. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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