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Breathless (A Bout de Souffle)

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Martial Solal 3/20/2008

Review

Despite the movie's fame and the quality of the score, this remains the first and only collaboration between Martial Solal and director Jean-Luc Godard. The pianist took advantage of this unexpected opportunity to experiment with strings for the first time. The score mostly consists of variations on a five-note theme. Punctuated by efficient interventions of the vibes for drama, the pieces match the movie's hurried pace, nimbleness, and attention to details. Recorded in 1960, it is interesting to witness how French jazz musicians had been incorporating idioms at the contact of American musicians living in Paris -- and they do swing. According to Martial Solal, his music would not have garnered any attention without its association to the movie. While one can agree on the fact that the music is not exceptional, it nevertheless offers enough substance to sustain interest. The CD reissue also features a newly recorded solo piano rendition of the main theme with Solal making deft use of angularity and dissonance, as well as pieces written for four other movies. The latter compositions are in the same vein with one exception, "Générique," a twist that Solal had to write to please director Jean Becker. This is a welcome reissue of historical value. ~ Alain Drouot
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 La mort (A Bout de Souffle) Martial Solal 2:5
  3. 2 Duo (A Bout de Souffle) Martial Solal 2:19
  4. 3 New York Herald Tribune (A Bout de Souffle) Martial Solal 2:1
  5. 4 Poursuite (A Bout de Souffle) Martial Solal 2:10
  6. 5 L' Amour, la mort (A Bout de Souffle) Martial Solal 2:3
  7. 6 Dixieland (A Bout de Souffle) Martial Solal 2:39
  8. 7 Thème d'amour (A Bout de Souffle) Martial Solal 1:30
  9. 8 La mort (A Bout de Souffle) [Version 2] Martial Solal 1:52
  10. 9 Poursuite (A Bout de Souffle) [Version 2] Martial Solal 2:18
  11. 10 Campagne-Première (A Bout de Souffle) Martial Solal 2:33
  12. 11 Verneuillade (L'Affaire d'une Nuit) Martial Solal 2:54
  13. 12 Défilé (L'Affaire d'une Nuit) Martial Solal 2:30
  14. 13 Le procès (Le procès) Martial Solal 2:52
  15. 14 Générique (Les Ennemis) Martial Solal 2:46
  16. 15 Générique (Echappement Libre) Martial Solal 2:9
  17. 16 L' Espionnage (Les Ennemis) Martial Solal 1:16
  18. 17 Olga (Echappement Libre) Martial Solal 2:48
  19. 18 Course en décapotable (Echappement Libre) Martial Solal 1:32
  20. 19 David et Olga (Echappement Libre) Martial Solal 1:27
  21. 20 Echappement lbre (Echappement Libre) Martial Solal 3:26
  22. 21 À bout de souffle [Version Inédite] Martial Solal 4:9

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