Sylvie Courvoisier Piano
Ned Rothenberg Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Shakuhachi
Julian Sartorius Drums, Percussion
It’s not the first time we can hear Sylvie Courvoisier and Ned Rothenberg playing together. Both of them were included in a trio with Mark Feldman also released by Clean Feed (“In Cahoots”, 2017). That listening made us hope for more. Here it is with another trio, this time with drummer Julian Sartorius as the third contributor. Without a leader, and enlisting compositions from all the three members, this music reflects the present pandemic context, as the title, “Lockdown”, clearly suggests. There’s a reflexive and introspective approach all along, with exquisite writing serving the collective improvisations and enabling lots of space for each musician to develop his/her own ideas. Sometimes it’s difficult to identify when the scores give place to spontaneity and vice-versa: the boundaries are always marked where we least expect, or the lines of separation (union, maybe?) aren’t clearly defined, everything coming in a very natural flux. The musical situations gain several dimensions, sometimes adopting a narrative, almost cinematographic character, and others choosing more textural, impressionistic, procedures, but mainly combining the emanations of those two polarities in different and surprising ways. Convergence (for instance, the unisons between piano and sax (or bass clarinet, or shakuhachi) and divergence (the meticulous knittings provided by Sartorius are a good exemple) are constantly in equation, opening the possibilities for this endeavour that questions our innerselves and the strangeness of these days.