Pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist Mark Feldman are a dynamic duo within the neoteric strategies of modern jazz, coupled with their substantial artistic output. They intersperse classical inferences with shades of folk, avant-garde schemas, and bristling improvisational segments into the big picture. This incarnation of the quartet now features upper-echelon session bassist Scott Colley and venerable drummer Billy Mintz. Essentially, the artists enrich the avant-classical genre by cultivating an undertow framed on swing, bop and concise opuses tinted with the appropriate doses of razzle-dazzle and free-flight mechanisms. Birdies for Lulu is a revelation of unanticipated surprises via the quartet's seamless ...read more
Hotel Du Nord is shot through with heightened sensitivity. In the wake of To Fly To Steal (Intakt, 2010), the group did a series of European tours and this experience of playing together has resulted in heightened musical understanding. The quartet's musical currency--with the original lineup intact--is as informed by Twentieth Century chamber music as it is by creative improvised music, which means their work is about deft strokes as much as rhetorical flourishes. Pianist Sylvie Courvoisier's December 2010" highlights this for all of her co-leader's heat. The compositional framework incorporates plenty of space, and all four ...read more
Violinist Mark Feldman started out in Chicago playing classical music and bar gigs before moving on to the Nashville scene. He emerged in New York's downtown" circle with the likes of Arcado String Trio, trumpeter Dave Douglas, and composer-saxophonist John Zorn. His expressive, classically tinged technique was also sought for studio work with pop acts and film scores. For the last 10 years, he's been integral to guitarist John Abercrombie's quartet and has recorded several discs as a leader. Feldman works in duo with his wife, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, and the two also co-lead a quartet. This month [June, 2010] ...read more
Mark Feldman & Sylvie Courvoisier Oblivia Tzadik 2010 Sylvie Courvoisier--Mark Fledman Quartet To Fly to Steal Intakt 2010 The composer Olivier Messiaen might seem an odd vista from which to triangulate upon the spousal and musical partnership of violinist Mark Feldman and pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, but at least from the vantage of their recent releases it's a point suggested by the artists themselves. Courvoisier's piece Messiaenesque," assumedly titled for the 20th Century French composer, ...read more
Between the membership of this quartet (Mark Feldman, Sylvie Courvoisier, Thomas Morgan, and Gerry Hemingway) embodies the twenty-first century improvising musician. All four members have recorded before and in a variety of situations of wide diversity. They bring all of the experience this implies to a program that stakes out its own territory, and from start to end, has set out a potent collective manifesto.
Drummer Gerry Hemingway has worked with Anthony Braxton's quartet in the past and it's clear that the experience has rubbed off. On pianist Courvoisier's Messiaenesque" he's a master of sound and what it can imply. ...read more
Violinist Mark Feldman and his wife, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier eloquently morph restraint, depth and a contemporary classical touch into the progressive-jazz idiom on this 2010 release. Respectively, the musicians are ceaselessly engaged within the new music style of jazz and improvisation, having recorded for several record labels, spanning several years. No doubt, the duo's venerable artistic propensities unravel in resplendent fashion on To Fly To Steal.
The quartet manifests a self-identity during these emotively imbued works, designed with asymmetrical pulses, and brisk unison lines to contrast improvisation-based call and response frameworks. It's an undulating program, kindled by Feldman's ...read more
Mark Feldman, Uri Caine, Greg Cohen and Joey Baron have all played integral parts in John Zorn's many explorations of Jewish improvised music. All four have won acclaim for the distinctness and flexibility of their sounds, but here they work in a setting that defines the meaning of traditional.
With a group such as this, it would be impossible to explore any theme, new or old, without bringing flares of insight. Secrets finds them interpreting a variety of niggunim, the often wordless prayer melodies sung by sects of Hasidic Jews, and they mix a jazz sensibility with slight, indefinable touches ...read more
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