Photo by Caroline Mardok
Tickets $18 general / $16 Earshot members & seniors (60+) / $10 students & veteran/military
At long last, New York-based, Swiss-born pianist Sylvie Courvoisier brings her much-anticipated jazz trio to Seattle. Consisting of Kenny Wollesen on drums and Drew Gress on the bass, this group is the result of years in the making for Courvoisier. Though she has formed several trios in the past, this is the first firmly planted in the tradition of the classical jazz trio format of piano, double bass, and drums, a formidable format that represents the roots of jazz tradition and its history. In her new incarnation, she represents not just the traditions but also the constant reimagining and experimentation that jazz requires.
On their debut record Double Windsor, consisting of nine original compositions, the trio does just that, residing “somewhere between written and improvised music, a hybrid of contemporary classical music, jazz, and the avant-garde,” writes music critic Greg Buium. The title track “Double Windsor” has an intensity and ingenuity that showcases the compositional skill of Courvoisier and the dynamic improv of Wollesen and Gress. Highly rhythmic, the track is anything but typical. It chugs along in a way that feels comfortable at times and then completely unsettling at others, a relationship of tension and release grounded by coordinated composition and the conflict and resolve of skilled improvisation. When reading about Courvoisier there is one word that always comes up: technique. One listen to her music and all will understand, she is not a pianist that adheres to any style; rather, she pulls technique from classical forms, jazz improv, and avant-garde exploration to present something truly unique.