144

Sylvie Courvoisier: Abaton

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
Sylvie Courvoisier: Abaton It's a testament to pianist Sylvie Courvoisier's fine trio that the second half of her new two-disc set is as strong as the first. Violinist Mark Feldman, cellist Erik Friedlander and she have certainly logged plenty of hours together in different settings. The pianist's ear for composing for them shows through on the first disc and their shared sense of improvising shines on the second. Her scoring hand is so transparent and the trio so communicative, in fact, that the discs are surprisingly similar.

The line between composition and improvisation, however, might not be so hard for the Abaton trio. In an onstage discussion with Jazziz editor Larry Blumenfeld after the trio's performance at Merkin Hall last month, Courvoisier said that the compositions are about 20 percent improvisation and that the improvisations were recorded immediately after the scored pieces and in some sense were guided by them. They are, in other words, opposite sides of the same coin.

Courvoisier is a classically trained pianist whose improvisational work retains much of that early influence. Although she moves primarily in the improv world now, she relies on the sparse, elegiac language of 20th century classical music much more than jazz phrasings and structures. And while she is best known for her preparations of her instrument, here she stays almost exclusively on the keyboard and uses the trio with a beautiful openness. At any point she might put the strings in tandem or let an instrument fly alone, then drop brief unison statements or single notes atop. Disc one contains three nice trio pieces and a fascinatingly linear string duo in which quick melodies are delivered in alternating and overlapping arco and pizzicato fragments. It's a lovely piece.

Courvoisier's compositions are perhaps distinctly 21st century in the way they fit into a continuum of composed chamber work. They reflect without being ironic, refer without being referential. All in all, a refreshingly post-postmodern approach.


Track Listing: 1. Ianicum (Courvoisier) - 20:05 2. Orodruin (Courvoisier) - 12:42 3. Poco a Poco (Courvoisier) - 9:34 4. Abaton (Courvoisier) - 11:29 5. Icaria 1 - 4:07 6. Imke's - 2:11 7. Icaria 2 - 3:33 8. Clio - 2:49 9. Nova Solyma - 4:44 10. Spensonia - 4:00 11. Octavia - 3:37 12. Icaria 3 - 2:40 13. Sonnante - 3:39 14. The Scar of Lotte - 1:37 15. Turoine - 1:06 16. Archaos - 3:40 17. Ava's - 1:34 18. Brobdingnag - 1:33 19. Calonack - 2:57 20. Precioso - 2:48 21. Sekel - 1:27 22. Izaura - 2:54 23. Narnia - 1:50

Personnel: Mark Feldman : violin; Erik Friedlander: cello; Sylvie Courvoisier : piano.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Message In Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Message In Motion
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Forage" CD/LP/Track Review Forage
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Everyone Is Everyone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Everyone Is Everyone Else
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Chicago II" CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!