Since the release of last year's TO FLY TO STEAL (their debut on Intakt), the members of the Sylvie Courvoisier – Mark Feldman Quartet forged an even deeper chemistry on the bandstand through a series of European tours.
The results of that heightened sensitivity now manifest on this superb second outing, which showcases an uncanny group-think among the four outstanding musicians.
The flexibility and expressive range that violinist Feldman, pianist Courvoisier, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Gerry Hemingway achieve together on HÔTEL DU NORD shows just how much this expansive quartet has grown in just over a year.
released April 1, 2011
Sylvie Courvoisier: piano
Mark Feldman: violin
Thomas Morgan: bass
Gerry Hemingway: drums
Mary Halvorson's compositions make my head spin. As is so often the case with her work, here, she continues to twist and subvert conventional notions of melody and modality.
Her own playing is astonishingly deft, and the arrangements complex and inventive.
But there is a warmth here, too; a playful of spirit, a restlessness to continue to change and connect in new ways.
Halvorson isn't just a jazz innovator, she's fast becoming one of of the giants of new music. Michael Mueller