Photo: Jacob Blickenstaff

Kavita Shah, Francois Moutin Duo, and Martial Solal Join Together for Improvisation “Coming Yesterday” (premiere)

Jazz Singer Kavita Shah and bassist Francois Moutin have a new duo recording, and "Coming Yesterday" is a ravishing trio performance with French pianist Martial Solal featuring rapturous free improvisation and inspired melody.

Francois Moutin, born in Paris, became one of the leading jazz bass players in France before moving to New York in 1997. Kavita Shah was born in New York and started playing classical piano and singing seriously with the Young People’s Chorus of NYC, which took her around the world. At Harvard, Shah studied Latin America and ethnomusicology, but singing — and singing jazz — brought her back to performing.

Moutin and Shah have just recorded Interplay in the rare bass/voice format, bringing in special guests Sheila Jordan (who pioneered that format with bassist Harvie Swartz) and pianist Martial Solal, in whose band Moutin played back in Paris. On this video premiere, Shah, Moutin, and Solal perform the pianist’s “Coming Yesterday”, which Solal originally recorded in a piano trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian. This performance features the written head to start things off but then moves into five minutes of completely free improvisation, not hemmed in by an established harmonic pattern or set meter. The communication is not only telepathic but also, well, beautiful. Too often, “free improvisation” mean dissonance, but this is group improvisation that is simultaneously unpredictable and gorgeous, simultaneously free and fulsome. They return to the theme having explored what seems to have been the world of music that each musician represents through their fascinating careers.

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