sylvie courvoisier trio D'Agala (CD, £14.25)
With her high-quality trio including Drew Gress and Kenny Wollesen, Sylvie Courvoisier presents her eleventh album on Intakt Records. In both her playing and her composition she shows neoclassical influences mixed with European improvised music and the experimental non-conformism of the New York downtown scene. The nine pieces on D'AGALA are dedicated to people who admired and influenced Courvoisier. The title tune is for pianist Geri Allen, "one of three dedicatees who passed away in June 2017 (recording was in preparation), the others being guitarist John Abercrombie and French politician, women’s rights advocate and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil. Two pieces are for sculptors, Martin Puryear who merges organic and geometric forms, and Louise Bourgeois. On “Bourgeois’s Spiders”, Courvoisier is all over the piano – plucking or strumming strings inside, or playing with one hand inside and one on the keys, or rattling around on the metal frame. Sometimes the band sounds like a trio of percussionists; they’re that rhythmically acute", writes Kevin Whitehead in the liner notes and adds: "Some pianists approach the instrument like it’s a cathedral. Sylvie Courvoisier sometimes treats it like a playground".
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