The piano trio is the supreme discipline in jazz. Through rich possibilities, it functions as a strong filter sifting out those few who were and are able to set new standards. What matters is how the three instrumental vertices relate to each other dynamically, harmonically and soundwise to build something coherent, in close dependency. Eventually, each shift at one vertex inevitably triggers shifts by the other two. New York pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, not excessively jazz affined in her previous work, kept distant from this classic format hitherto--even when Tzadik's spiritus rector John Zorn kept on inciting her. On ...read more
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
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
The improvisational intersection of American and European music exemplified in the recording Every So Often finds common ground without much trouble when the improvisers are Ellery Eskelin and Sylvie Courvoisier.
This hour of sonically stellar studio recordings never lacks for innovation nor repeats ideas. Saxophonist Eskelin, a jazz maverick is probably best known for his trio work with drummer Jim Black and accordion player Andrea Parkins, with their 'rock the Sun Ra casbah' music. His jazz roots are often times exploded into multiple directions of rock, improv, blues, and folk. On paper, he might not be a fitting ...read more