Martial Solal had built up quite a following in France by the time these French sessions were issued in the U.S. in the early '60s. An incredible bop pianist with a technique that hints at elements of Art Tatum and Bud Powell, the solo material focuses on popular standards, including a romp through "Anything Goes," a joyous "Flamingo," and a somewhat playful "'Round Midnight." Bassist Guy Pederson and drummer Daniel Humair, his regular rhythm section of the period, are added for Solal's five original compositions, though none of them leave as lasting an impression as the pianist's solo interpretations of standards. Although this LP was reissued at least one more time by Capitol on vinyl (as Vive la France! Vive le Jazz! Vive Solal! The Exciting Jazz Piano of Martial Solal), it has only reappeared on an EMI CD in Europe. In any case, it is well worth acquiring.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden