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Sylvie Courvoisier

Idioma disponible: inglés
Known for an unusual, impulsive style that weds the chamber music of her European upbringing with the hook-filled jazz of her adopted home of New York City, composer/pianist Sylvie Courvoisier emerged in the mid-'90s with a pair of quintet albums, 1994's Sauvagerie Courtoise (as the Sylvie Courvoisier Quintetto) and 1996's Ocre. A highly collaborative artist, she recorded with musicians such as violinist Mark Feldman and John Zorn before eventually releasing her solo piano debut, Signs and Epigrams, in 2007. She followed it with numerous further collaborations, including several with Feldman and a series of albums with her trio with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Kenny Wollesen. In 2021, Lockdown teamed Courvoisier with woodwindist Ned Rothenberg and percussionist Julian Sartorius. Courvoisier was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in November 1968. Both a prolific composer and an imaginative pianist, she attended the Conservatoire de Lausanne, where she trained in composition, conducting, and piano. At the Conservatoire de Montreux, she studied jazz. Recording under the Unit Records label as the Sylvie Courvoisier Quintetto, she released her debut album, Sauvagerie Courtoise, in 1994. In both 1995 and 1996, she was selected to appear in Baden-Baden at the New Jazz Meetings, and in the latter year, she received the Swiss Young Creators Award. Courvoisier took sole credit in 1997 on her next album, Ocre (Enja), which featured Pierre Charial on barrel organ, Michel Godard on tuba, Tony Overwater on double bass, and Mark Nauseef on percussion. She recorded as a duo with Mark Nauseef for the 1997 album Birds of a Feather (Unit), with Mark Feldman on 1999's Music for Violin and Piano (Avant), and with Lucas Niggli on that year's Lavin (Intakt). Courvoisier's first release of the 2000s, August 2000's Deux Pianos was a duet album with Jacques Demierre. Y2K appeared on Enja that November, featuring Godard and Charial. In 2002, she came back with Passaggio (Intakt), an improvisational album with bassist Joëlle Léandre and drummer Susie Ibarra, and Black Narcissus (Tzadik), the debut of the Mephista trio, which included Ibarra and electronic musician Ikue Mori. The three of them followed it up in 2004 with Entomological Reflections, also on Tzadik. In the meantime, the pianist partnered with Feldman and cellist Erik Friedlander on 2003's Abaton, a double album for the ECM label. In 2004, she appeared alongside Feldman on Masada Recital, a performance celebrating the tenth anniversary of John Zorn's Masada project. Courvoisier and Feldman continued to explore Zorn's music with 2006's Malphas: Book of Angels, Vol. 3 (Tzadik). The following year, she appeared on Herb Robertson's Elaboration album (Clean Feed) as one of the so-called NY Downtown Allstars, and she released her first solo piano album, Signs and Epigrams (Tzadik). Lonelyville (Intakt), a live quintet date with Feldman, Mori, cellist Vincent Courtois, and drummer Gerald Cleaver, was also issued in 2007. Courvoisier, Mori, and saxophonist Lotte Anker joined up for Alien Huddle, which arrived on Intakt the following year. In 2009, Courvoisier, Mori, and Laurie Anderson were among the contributors to John Zorn's Femina, a tribute to the creativity of women, and Courvoisier released a duo album with saxophonist Ellery Eskelin titled Every So Often (Primesource). In 2010, the ensemble for Erik Friedlander's 50 Miniatures for Improvising Quintet (SkipStone) consisted of Friedlander, Courvoisier, violinist Jennifer Choi, bassist Trevor Dunn, and percussionist Mike Sarin. That year, she also issued As Soon as Possible (CAM Jazz), a collaboration with Eskelin and Courtois, as well as a duo album with Feldman called Oblivia. Credited to the Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman Quartet, 2011's Hôtel du Nord (Intakt) featured the rhythm section of Thomas Morgan and Gerry Hemingway. The duo re-emerged on Live at Théâtre Vidy–Lausanne in 2013, a year that also delivered the Erik Friedlander recording Claws and Wings, featuring Courvoisier (piano, spinet) and Mori (laptop). A duo album with saxophonist Evan Parker, Either Or And (Relative Pitch), followed in 2014, as did Birdies for Lulu (Intakt) by the Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman Quartet, filled out this time by Scott Colley and Billy Mintz. The year 2014 also brought the debut of Courvoisier's acclaimed trio with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Kenny Wollesen, Double Windsor (Tzadik). Courvoisier, Mark Feldman, Evan Parker, and Ikue Mori teamed up for 2016's Miller Tale (Intakt). Meanwhile, that year's In Cohoots featured Courvoisier, Feldman, and woodwindist Ned Rothenberg, while Salt Task (Relative Pitch) paired her with drummer Chris Corsano and trumpeter Nate Wooley. The pianist then backed Wooley on 2017's Battle Pieces 2, and a duo release with guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson, Crop Circles, was issued on Relative Pitch. Back with her trio with Gress and Wollesen, D'Agala (Intakt) saw release in 2018. She appeared alongside Wooley, drummer Tom Rainey, and saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark (aka the quartet VWCR) on Noise of Our Time in 2018. That year, Courvoisier was the recipient of the Swiss Music Prize for Outstanding Jazz Musician. Not slowing down, she offered a piano duo album with Jacques Demierre, HOODOOS, as well as Time Gone Out with Feldman and Pulse with drummer Alfred Vogel by midway through 2019. The third LP by the Sylvie Courvoisier Trio, Free Hoops followed in 2020. She then rejoined Halvorson for Searching for the Disappeared Hour (Pyroclastic Records) and teamed up with Rothenberg and drummer Julian Sartorius for Lockdown (Clean Feed), both issued in late 2021. Lockdown was recorded in Bern, Switzerland, in October 2020.
© Marcy Donelson & Charlotte Dillon /TiVo
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