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À bout de souffle (bande originale de film)

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Album 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.

Customer Reviews


A wonderful companion to a wonderful film. Fortunate to have it available on Itunes


Born: August 23, 1927 in Algiers, Algeria

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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 big-band swing to bop and post-bop, Solal has also composed chamber music, written scores for more than 20 films, and recorded more than 50 albums as soloist and leader. For more than half a century, Solal personified the cross-pollinated splendor of European jazz by utilizing styles and influences...
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