Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman | Constellation | Classical | Chicago Reader

Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Wed., Dec. 2, 8:30 p.m. 2015

Based in New York, Swiss pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist (and Chicago native) Mark Feldman have long been one of improvised music’s most dynamic couples. They’re remarkable technicians who routinely erase lines between jazz and contemporary classical music while never limiting their curiosity in terms of style or discipline. Over a series of diverse quartet recordings they’ve occasionally embraced swinging, propulsive, and even raucous rhythms, especially on their 2013 album with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Billy Mintz, Birdies for Lulu (Intakt). Throughout, Feldman’s exquisite tone and refined phrasing have remained undiminished, as has his telepathic communication with Courvoisier. This week the duo make a rare local performance, where their interests in both composition and pure improvisation will be highlighted. The duo’s superb 2013 album Live at Théàtre Vidy-Lausanne (Intakt) covers lots of territory, sometimes within a single piece: Feldman’s “Five Senses of Keen” is an episodic gem with an expansive reach that includes some dazzling international influences, from Romani-like strumming inside the piano to baroque violin ornamentation that suggests the Indian Dhrupad vocal tradition. The album also includes four bracing improvisations that collectively are another testament to the simpatico musical bond between Courvoisier and Feldman: the elegant push and pull make knowing what’s written and what’s not seem irrelevant. Courvoisier will also play solo and discuss her work with Ken Vandermark on Monday night at Experimental Sound Studio at 7:30 PM.

Peter Margasak

Price: $20, $15 in advance

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