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ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Feldman's Level 5: The Sybil EP

Read "The Sybil EP" reviewed by Doug Collette

Jazz-rock fusion may have peaked in popularity back in the 1970s, but it has remained an integral sub-set of jazz ever since. That said, those traits that undermined its force back then--fake funk and over-emphasis on technique--have remained so pervasive within the hybrid that truly distinctive entries in the genre are few and far between. The Sybil EP by Mark Feldman's Level 5, however, is one of those rare and welcome exceptions. Guitarist Oz Noy composed each of ...

INTERVIEWS

Mark Feldman: Taking an Eclectic Path

Read "Mark Feldman: Taking an Eclectic Path" reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

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 ...

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Mark Feldman / Uri Caine / Greg Cohen / Joey Baron: Secrets

Read "Secrets" reviewed by Warren Allen

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Mark Feldman: His Own Music, His Own Sound, His Own Aesthetic

Read "Mark Feldman: His Own Music, His Own Sound, His Own Aesthetic" reviewed by Paul Olson

In his twenty years in New York City, violinist Mark Feldman's played a dizzying number of gigs and sessions with trumpeter Dave Douglas, pianist Uri Caine, saxophonist Tim Berne, drummer Billy Hart, pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, bassist Mark Dresser, and of course, saxophonist John Zorn, with whom Feldman has had a particularly fruitful association.

He was a founding member of the seminal ensembles Arcado String Trio and New & Used, collaborates regularly with his wife, pianist/composer ...

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Mark Feldman: What Exit

Read "What Exit" reviewed by Martin Gladu

Only willing individuals like ECM Records founder and producer Manfred Eicher envision releasing recordings like this. Yet again, the Munich-based label starts where others stop: with a disc of contemporary music by a classically-trained violinist turned jazz avant-gardist. As a matter of fact, the jazz world would be incomplete without projects like What Exit.

Aided by English pianist John Taylor, bassist Anders Jormin and drummer Tom Rainey, Mark Feldman showcases his dual affection for modern classical and jazz genres on ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Feldman: What Exit

Read "What Exit" reviewed by Robert R. Calder

As an instrumentalist, Mark Feldman is mind-boggling. His violin technique isn't lotsa notes, it's careful phrasing and command of tone, and a huge sound which would have offended some pseudo-classicists of some decades ago. It's “Romantic"!

For a classy Feldman performance, try “Father Demo Square" here, with Anders Jormin setting the pace (the bassist may be the consistently interesting member of this quartet on this date). John Taylor's piano solo emerges nourished by the violin work which precedes it. Pianists ...

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Mark Feldman: What Exit

Read "What Exit" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Violin, viola and cello are among the last instruments from the traditional orchestra whose sound is fully accepted in modern jazz. (You can also add oboe and bassoon to the list.) In the process of adaptation, some players of these instruments have distanced themselves from the orchestra. One modern jazz string exponent, Mat Maneri, plays the viola in such a way as to make one forget its classical orchestral origins, as evinced most recently on his collaborative ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Feldman: What Exit

Read "What Exit" reviewed by John Kelman

If we are the sum of our experiences, then Mark Feldman represents an exceptional aggregate. The classically trained violinist is closely associated with the New York Downtown scene, where there seems to be few, if any, musical boundaries. He may be best known for collaborations with artists like John Zorn, Dave Douglas and John Abercrombie, but look into his past and you'll find fusion work with percussionist Trilok Gurtu, country music with Loretta Lynn, and reggae with Sly and Robbie. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier: Music for Piano and Violin

Read "Music for Piano and Violin" reviewed by AAJ Staff

One of the more promiscuous violinists on the scene today, Mark Feldman has always strived to combine the unusual with the familiar. He's come a long way from his roots as a Nashville studio musician, recording with country giants such as Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, to his more recent forays on the New York avant-improv scene with neo-giants like John Zorn and Tim Berne. Feldman's new record, Music for Piano and Violin, represents a logical progression from his 1995 ...