John Zorn / Mark Feldman / Sylvie Courvoisier: Malphas, Book of Angels Volume 3 (2006)
Where other groups focus on the jazz or the upbeat groove of the songbook, Courvoisier and Feldman bring a classicism to the project, closer to the Masada String Trio (Feldman with bassist Greg Cohen and cellist Erik Friedlander). Their delicate playing is gorgeous, even more so than on their Masada Recital from 2004. It's an airy yet poignant record, catching the best of what Zorn creates in the compositions.
The packaging, likewise, is simple and attractive: a maroon digipack with a stylized Star of David cut from the front. Occasionally the pieces are referential, quoting Mozart or the six-note ballpark "charge theme, an approach Zorn has long worked into his compositions. He quoted "Für Elise in his pivotal 1993 work Kristallnacht and used cartoon sounds in the string-quartet-plus-turntable piece "Cat o' Nine Tails. There, however, the quotations referred to something about the context of the piece. Here they just seem to emphasize Zorn's eclecticism and serve as a distraction. Those moments, however, are few on a warm and beautifully recorded album.
Track Listing: Azriel; Basus; Rigal; Kafziel; Labariel; Zethar; Paschal; Boel; Sammael; Padiel; Sretil.
Personnel: Mark Feldman: violin; Sylvie Courvoisier: piano.
Record Label: Tzadik
Style: Modern Jazz