Pianist-composer Sylvie Courvoisier, a native of Switzerland, has earned just renown for balancing two distinct worlds: the deep, richly detailed chamber music of her European roots and the grooving, hook-laden sounds of the downtown jazz scene in New York City, her home for more than two decades.
The compositions for her new ensemble, Chimeara, originally commissioned for a quintet at the Sons d’Hiver Festival in Paris this past February, are inspired by the work of the painter Odilon Redon, who created a universe of symbolism, dreams and fantasy. For this performance at Roulette, Sylvie is rewriting part of the compositions and adding another trumpet part for Wadada Leo Smith. The core of this new sextet is her trio (created in 2013) with Drew Gress on double bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums and vibraphone. Wadada Leo Smith has the role of the sage, underlining some phrases as an experienced maestro of power and restraint. Nate Wooley’s role is to stay closer to the compositions and use his craft of his extended technique. Christian Fennesz, wizard of electronic music, has the mission of transforming the atmosphere,creating ambient and meditative sounds. He functions as an acrobat, creating tension to provide a fragile instability and balance for the group.