Sylvie Courvoisier: OCRE - Y2K
This new release titled, Ocre: “Y2K” features quite a distinguished cast! - A Trio consisting of Swiss modern jazz pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, tuba and serpent performer Michel Godard and Pierre Charial who utilizes that sound machine known as the barrel organ. As some might already surmise, the musical format portrayed on this new release does indicate or allude to a rather improbable setting. Here, the musician’s cultivate a groove and sound that might seem indigenous to something or somewhere although when viewed as a whole, the Trio do indeed carve out a series of adventurously surrealistic grooves that for the most part, seem unclassifiable or a tad eccentric.
The title piece, “Y2K” features engrossing and albeit somewhat bizarre cyclic unison choruses and rapid flurries by both Courvoisier and Charial as Godard dutifully handles the rhythmic flow via his fleet-fingered and at times amazingly fast lead soloing. The musician’s exchange rapidly executed lines amid two or three way dialogue while integrating kaleidoscopic themes that often invoke notions of being at a circus or perhaps listening to the soundtrack of a Fellini film........ The composition titled “Mutant”, hits you with mechanical-like velocity as Courvoisier also implements huge block chords in conjunction with Charial’s speed demon approach to the barrel organ. At times, the music conveys a festive atmosphere, complete with abrupt shifts in tempo and whirling dervish-like interplay along with twists, turns and an assortment of perplexities.
With Ocre: “Y2K” Sylvie Courvoisier and her equally adept musical constituents have produced a thoroughly interesting and quite entertaining effort. However, it is possible to draw an analogy, which might be something like – blinking your eye while driving through a small country town. We must reemphasize that “speed” is an overriding factor throughout the duration of this project. Therefore, it is easy to get a bit lost here, without giving your undivided attention to the overall thrust and vigor exhibited within the context of these compositions. Sort of like driving through that small town – If you blink your eye or in this case, become distracted you’ll surely miss something. Essentially, Ocre: “Y2K” is an imposing yet often breathtaking artistic achievement.... * * * * 1/2
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