The Squid's Ear Magazine


Courvoisier, Sylvie (feat. Wadada Leo Smith / Christian Fennesz / Nate Wooley / Drew Gress / Kenny W (Intakt)

Chimaera is the ensemble of Sylvie Courvoisier on piano, her core trio with Drew Gress on bass, Kenny Wollesen on drums & vibraphone, expanded by two trumpeters--Wadada Leo Smith & Nate Wooley--and affected by Austrian guitarist Christian Fennesz who provides sonic backdrops for the improvisations over Courvoisier's compositions, focusing on aura over pyrotechnics; absolutely sublime.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Sylvie Courvoisier-piano

Wadada Leo Smith-trumpet

Nate Wooley-trumpet

Christian Fennesz-guitar, electronics

Drew Gress-bass

Kenny Wollesen-drums, vibraphone


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UPC: 7640120194109

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: ITK410.2
Squidco Product Code: 34226

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Oktaven Audio, in Mont Vernon, New York, November 17th and 18th, 2022, by Ryan Streber.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.
"Chimaera is the newest ensemble of pianist and composer Sylvie Courvoisier. The virtuoso band brings together key musical personalities from the New York jazz scene in Wadada Leo Smith, Nate Wooley, Drew Gress and Kenny Wollesen, and features Austrian artist Christian Fennesz, whose ambient textures can be considered Chimaera's wildcard. Inspired by the fantastic, enigmatic on hallucinatory paintings of symbolist Odilon Redons, the sextet creates an expansive and shimmering soundscape.

"The lucid, dreamlike sounds of Courvoisier's Chimaera album are floating and elusive like shadows on the ocean; the melodic glitter of trumpet, piano and vibraphone on a rolling groove of rhythmic ambience, with Fennesz's magical guitar clouds enveloping the band," writes Bradley Bamberger of the music of this new sextet." on Intakt


Artist Biographies

"Sylvie Courvoisier is a pianist, composer and improviser. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Courvoisier moved to New York in 1998 and has lived in Brooklyn since that time.

Courvoisier has led several groups over the years and has recorded over 25 records as a leader or co-leader for different labels, notably ECM , Tzadik and Intakt Records and 30 cds as a sideperson. She has performed and recorded with John Zorn, Mark Feldman, Yusef Lateef, Ikue Mori, Tony Oxley, Tim Berne, Joey Baron, Joëlle Léandre, Herb Robertson, Butch Morris, Evan Parker, Mark Dresser, Ellery Eskelin, Lotte Anker, Fred Frith, Michel Godard, Tomazs Stanko among others. She has been commissioned to write music for concerts, radio, dance and theater. Since 1996, she has been touring widely with her own groups and as a side person in USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe.

Currently, Courvoisier is the leader of her TRIO with Kenny Wollesen and Drew Gress. She performs regularly Solo and since 1997, in Duo with violinist Mark Feldman. She co-leads the Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman Quartet with Scott Colley and Billy Mintz. Since 2000, she has been a member of Mephista, an improvising collective trio with Ikue Mori and Susie Ibarra. She is currently playing and touring in different projects of John Zorn including Cobra and Masada Marathon. She is also playing in Erik Friedlander's Trio, Herb Robertson's Quintet and Nate Wooley's Quartet. Since 2010, she has been working as a pianist and composer for flamenco dancer Israel Galvan's project "la Curva" with more than 150 performances around the world.

Awards include Switzerland's 1996 Prix des jeunes créateurs; Zonta Club's 2000 Prix de la Création; Switzerland's 2010 Grand Prix de la Fondation Vaudoise de la Culture; 2013's NYFA (NewYork Foundation For the Art) Music/Sound Fellowship."

-Sylvie Courvoisier Website (http://www.sylviecourvoisier.com/bio.htm)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith: trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser has been active in creative contemporary music for over forty years. His systemic music language Ankhrasmation is significant in his development as an artist and educator.

Born in Leland, Mississippi, Smith's early musical life began in the high school concert and marching bands. At the age of thirteen, he became involved with the Delta Blues and Improvisation music traditions. He received his formal musical education with his stepfather Alex Wallace, the U.S. Military band program (1963), Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76). Mr. Smith has studied a variety of music cultures: African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American.

He has taught at the University of New Haven (1975-'76), the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY (1975-'78), and Bard College (1987-'93). He is currently a faculty member at The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts. He is the director of the African-American Improvisational Music program, and is a member of ASCAP, Chamber Music America, and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.

Mr. Smith's awards and commissions include: MAP Fund Award for "Ten Freedom Summers" (2011), Chamber Music America New Works Grant (2010), NEA Recording Grant (2010), Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009-2010), Other Minds residency and "Taif", a string quartet commission (2008), Fellow of the Jurassic Foundation (2008), FONT(Festival of New Trumpet) Award of Recognition (2008), Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award (2005), Islamic World Arts Initiative of Arts International (2004), Fellow of the Civitela Foundation (2003), Fellow at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2001), "Third Culture Copenhagen" in Denmark-presented a paper on Ankhrasmation (1996), Meet the Composer/Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Commissioning Program (1996), Asian Cultural Council Grantee to Japan (June-August 1993), Meet the Composer/Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Commissioning Program (1990), New York Foundation on the Arts Fellowship in Music (1990), Numerous Meet the Composer Grants (since 1977), and National Endowment for the Arts Music Grants (1972, 1974, 1981).

Mr. Smith's music philosophy Notes (8 Pieces) Source a New. World Music: Creative Music has been published by Kiom Press (1973), translated and published in Japan by Zen-On Music Company Ltd. (1976). In 1981 Notes was translated into Italian and published by Nistri-Litschi Editori.

He was invited to a conference of artists, scientists and philosophers "Third Culture Copenhagen" in Denmark 1996, and presented a paper on his Ankhrasmation music theory and notational system for creative musicians. His interview was recorded for Denmark T.V., broadcasted September 1996.

Some of the artists Mr. Smith has performed with are : Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Richard Teitelbaum, Joseph Jarman, George Lewis, Cecil Taylor, Andrew Cyrill, Oliver Lake, Anthony Davis, Carla Bley, David Murray, Don Cherry, Jeanne Lee, Milton Campbell, Henry Brant, Richard Davis, Tadao Sawai, Ed Blackwell, Sabu Toyozumi, Peter Kowald, Kazuko Shiraishi, Han Bennink, Misja Mengelberg, Marion Brown, Kazutoki Umezu, Kosei Yamamoto, Charlie Haden, Kang Tae Hwan, Kim Dae Hwan, Tom Buckner, Malachi Favors Magoustous and Jack Dejohnette among many others.

Mr. Smith currently has three ensembles: Golden Quartet, Silver Orchestra, and Organic. His compositions have also been performed by other contemporary music ensembles: AACM-Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Player, New Century Players, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Contemporary Chamber Players (University of Chicago), S.E.M. Ensemble, Southwest Chamber Music, Del Sol String Quartet, New York New Music Ensemble, ne(x)tworks, and California E.A.R. Unit.

Mr. Smith's music for multi-ensembles has been performed since 1969. "Tabligh" for double-ensemble was performed by Golden Quartet and Classical Persian ensemble at Merkin Concert Hall (2006) and by Golden Quartet and Suleyman Erguner's Classical Turkish ensemble at Akbank Music Festival in Istanbul (2007). His largest work "Odwira" for 12 multi-ensembles (52 instrumentalists) was performed at California Institute of the Arts (March 1995). His Noh piece "Heart Reflections" was performed in Merkin Concert Hall, NY (November 1996)."

-Wadada Leo Smith Website (http://www.wadadaleosmith.com/pages/bio.html)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Nate Wooley was born in 1974 in Clatskanie, Oregon, a town of 2,000 people in the timber country of the Pacific Northwestern corner of the U.S. He began playing trumpet professionally with his father, a big band saxophonist, at the age of 13. His time in Oregon, a place of relative quiet and slow time reference, instilled in Nate a musical aesthetic that has informed all of his music making for the past 20 years, but in no situation more than his solo trumpet performances.

Nate moved to New York in 2001, and has since become one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. He has performed regularly with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Eliane Radigue, Ken Vandermark, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation like Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson.

Wooley's solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet. Along with Peter Evans and Greg Kelley, Wooley is considered one of the leading lights of the American movement to redefine the physical boundaries of the horn, as well as demolishing the way trumpet is perceived in a historical context still overshadowed by Louis Armstrong. A combination of vocalization, extreme extended technique, noise and drone aesthetics, amplification and feedback, and compositional rigor has led one reviewer to call his solo recordings "exquisitely hostile".

In the past three years, Wooley has been gathering international acclaim for his idiosyncratic trumpet language. Time Out New York has called him "an iconoclastic trumpeter", and Downbeat's Jazz Musician of the Year, Dave Douglas has said, "Nate Wooley is one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today, and that is without hyperbole". His work has been featured at the SWR JazzNow stage at Donaueschingen, the WRO Media Arts Biennial in Poland, Kongsberg, North Sea, Music Unlimited, and Copenhagen Jazz Festivals, and the New York New Darmstadt Festivals. In 2011 he was an artist in residence at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY and Cafe Oto in London, England. In 2013 he performed at the Walker Art Center as a featured solo artist.

Nate is the curator of the Database of Recorded American Music (www.dramonline.org) and the editor-in-chief of their online quarterly journal Sound American (www.soundamerican.org) both of which are dedicated to broadening the definition of American music through their online presence and the physical distribution of music through Sound American Records. He also runs Pleasure of the Text which releases music by composers of experimental music at the beginnings of their careers in rough and ready mediums."

-Nate Wooley Website (http://natewooley.com/about)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Christian Fennesz (born 25 December 1962) is an Austrian guitarist and composer active in electronic music, often credited on recordings simply as Fennesz. His work utilizes guitar and notebook computers to make multilayered compositions that blend melody and treated samples with techno-influenced production. He lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

Fennesz first received widespread recognition for his 2001 album Endless Summer, released on Mego Records. He has collaborated with a number of artists, including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jim O'Rourke, Ulver, David Sylvian, and King Midas Sound.

Fennesz was born and raised in Austria and studied music formally in art school. He started playing guitar around the age of 8 or 9. He initially performed as a member of the Austrian experimental rock band Maische before signing to electronic music label Mego Records as a solo artist. In 1995 he released his first EP Instrument, which explored electro-acoustic and ambient stylings.

In 1997, Fennesz released his debut full-length album Hotel Paral.lel, which saw him delve more explicitly into laptop production and early glitch aesthetics. He followed with the 1998 single Plays, which contained near-unrecognizable covers of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" and the Beach Boys' "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)". In the following years, he released his second album Plus Forty Seven Degrees 56' 37" Minus Sixteen Degrees 51' 08" and collaborated with a variety of artists, including Peter "Pita" Rehberg and Jim O'Rourke as part of Fenn O'Berg. In 2001, he released his third studio album Endless Summer to widespread critical praise and recognition. He collaborated with figures such as David Sylvian, Keith Rowe, eRikm, Ryuichi Sakamoto in the following years, and released the albums Venice (2004) and Black Sea (2007) to further critical praise.

In 2009 Fennesz teamed up with Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) to create In the Fishtank 15. The following year Fennesz released Szampler, a cassette containing his sample collection on the Tapeworm label. This release was later remixed by Stefan Goldmann and released as Goldmann vs. Fennesz: Remiksz. In 2011, he appeared on the live Ulver release The Norwegian National Opera, contributing guitar and effects to "Not Saved." In November 2013, Fennesz played the final holiday camp edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Camber Sands, England. In 2014, he released the studio album Bcs. In 2015, he collaborated with UK group King Midas Sound on the album Editions 1."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fennesz)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Drew Gress (born November 20, 1959) is an American jazz double-bassist and composer born in Trenton, New Jersey, raised in the Philadelphia area, and currently based in New York City.

Biography

Gress became interested in jazz and the double bass while a teenager, joining the Pennsbury Concert Jazz Band, a nationally-prominent high school jazz ensemble, in 1975, spending two years as bassist and arranger for the group. His interest in composing original material for large ensembles, such as those of Johnny Richards, Billy May, and Pat Williams, led him to Baltimore's Towson State University in 1977, where he studied composition and counterpoint with Hank Levy, known for his work with Don Ellis and Stan Kenton. While at Towson, Gress established a playing relationship with saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, with whom he cofounded Joint Venture with Paul Smoker and Phil Haynes. They released three albums on Enja Records between 1987 and 1994.

During the 1980s in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, he played with Sonny Stitt, Clifford Jordan, Albert Dailey, Mose Allison, Zoot Sims, Cab Calloway, Buddy Hackett, Phyllis Diller, and pianist Marc Copland, with whom he still plays today. He also served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, Towson State University, and the Baltimore School for the Arts. He formed a quartet, Tekke, in 1989 with David Kane, Glenn Cashman, and Michael Smith.

In 1997, he cofounded the cooperative improvising trio Paraphrase with saxophonist/composer Tim Berne and drummer Tom Rainey. Together, they pursued a compositional approach to free improvisational practice. They recorded three live albums together and toured extensively.

In 1998, he released his first album as leader, Heyday, with his band Jagged Sky (featuring David Binney, Ben Monder, and Kenny Wollesen). 2001 saw the release of Spin & Drift with Uri Caine, Berne, and Rainey, in which he played pedal steel guitar for the first time.

Earlier in the 1990s, he served tenures as artist in residence at University of Colorado-Boulder and at Russia's St. Petersburg Conservatory.

Since 1992, Gress has maintained an extensive touring schedule, traveling to Europe, Asia, and South America. Those with whom he has and continues to work include Tim Berne, Ravi Coltrane, Uri Caine, John Hollenbeck, Fred Hersch, Marc Copland, Don Byron, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, Jack DeJohnette, John Surman, Ray Anderson, Erik Friedlander, Kenny Werner, Bill Carrothers, Ralph Alessi, Tony Malaby, Steve Lehman, and Edsel Gomez. To date, he has appeared on over 140 recordings, 4 of which have received Grammy nominations.

Gress' own ensembles have toured Europe four times since 2002, in addition to isolated festival appearances in Italy and Portugal. In 2004, the UK's BBC Radio and London's Guardian selected his quartet's live radio broadcast as Jazz Concert of the Year.

Composition awards include an NEA grant (1990), funding from Meet the Composer (2003), a Chamber Music America New Works Grant (2005), a CMA French-American Exchange Grant (2007), and an Encore Grant from that same organization (2008). He continues to compose for larger groups and has begun experimenting with virtual synthesizers."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drew_Gress)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Kenny Wollesen (born 1966) is an American drummer and percussionist.

Wollesen lives in New York City. He has recorded and toured with Tom Waits, Sean Lennon, Ron Sexsmith, Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, John Lurie, Myra Melford, Steven Bernstein, and John Zorn. He is a founding member of the New Klezmer Trio and a member of the Sex Mob and Himalayas groups. He also performs on the soundtrack to the popular children's show The Backyardigans.

Kenny grew up in Capitola, CA, studying at Aptos HS and spent many teenage years jamming with Donny McCaslin. He spent quality classroom time with flugelhornist and arranger Ray Brown at Cabrillo College. Kenny also arranges and studied vibraphone at Cabrillo."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Wollesen)
4/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



CD1



1. Le pavot rouge 21:21

2. La joubarbe aragnaineuse 13:32

3. Partout des prunelles flamboient 08:23

CD2



1. La chimere aux yeux verts 15:00

2. Annao 08:40

3. Le sabot de Venus 19:09

Related Categories of Interest:


Intakt
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Fennesz
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Sextet Recordings
Smith, Leo
Nate Wooley
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


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