Reviews that mention Mark Feldman

December 17, 2009

Hans Tammen Third Eye Orchestra

Live At Roulette
Innova 225

Expanding his electro-acoustic expertise to a creation for large ensemble, on this CD German-born, New York-based endangered guitarist Han Tammen presents two mesmerizing suites from his 13-piece Third Eye Orchestra.

Apparently unfazed by the superstition about 13, Tammen doesn’t perform, but instead conducts and arranges in real time. Likewise ignoring the superstitious angle, some of Manhattan’s most accomplished and innovative musicians – and one ringer – handle with aplomb Tammen’s creation which calls for equal facility with improvisation and notated music, acoustic instrumental techniques and familiarity with electronic excursions. Although billed as two, six-part versions of the same piece – “Antecedent” and “Consequence” – it’s a tribute to all concerned that neither version mirrors the other. While the separately titled tracks exhibit certain homogeneity, soloists never eschew individuality even while blending with the others in section work or contrasting passages. MORE

March 24, 2004

URI CAINE

Gustav Mahler - Dark Flame
Winter & Winter 910-095-2

Newest chapter in pianist Uri Caine’s POMO recasting of the works of the so-called Great Composers, DARK FLAME showcases an almost total vocal program.

Based on lieder composed by Austrian Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), the musicianship and inventiveness here are at the same high standard as Caine’s earlier meditations on the work of J. S. Bach, Richard Wagner and other Mahler projects. But with 14 selections rearranged over 77 minutes, there are times the variations move from novelty to gimmickry. Mahler’s oeuvre heard in gospel, Klezmer, rock or mainstream jazz variations is engaging; but linking it to turntable tricks, Oriental sounds, overwrought poetics or cocktail jazz works less well. MORE

February 16, 2004

SYLVIE COURVOISIER

Abaton
ECM 1838/39

Few CDs sum up as well the constant crossover that’s now taking place between players comfortable with notated music and improvisers as ABATON. That’s because the three performers involved are stylists so comfortable in either idiom that the concepts of so-called jazz and so-called classical music don’t fit into the picture.

Leader is Swiss-born, New York-based pianist Sylvie Courvoisier. Her trio is filled out by Americans, violinist Mark Feldman and cellist Erik Friedlander, both of whom have extensive experience in genre jumping from serious to improv to rock and back again, most notably with John Zorn. MORE

July 28, 2003

MICHAEL JEFRY STEVENS

Aercine
Drimala DR 02-347-06

MICHAEL JEFRY STEVENS
The Survivor’s Suite
Jazz’halo 015

Part of the underappreciated generation of expressive improvisers, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, 52, is one of those musicians who plied his craft in the fallow years between the 1960s heyday of experimental jazz and before the current free music uptick.

Now co-leader of the peripatetic Fonda-Stevens bands with bassist Joe Fonda, Stevens is a committed, no-holds-barred improviser. His technically imposing stylings draw as much -- if not more -- from the severe formalism of early modern classical composers as the jazz tradition. MORE

January 8, 2002

SATOKO FUJII

April Shower
Ewe Records EWCC 0006

SATOKO FUJII
Junction
Ewe Records EWCD-0034

One of the dangers in analyzing the efforts of any non-North American improviser is expecting to find explicit references to his or her culture in the music.

Sure some creators introduce scraps of so-called native sounds into their creations -- Italians, South Africans and some Latin Americans are particularly good at that -- but that doesn’t mean that every foreign musicians wants to do the same thing. Which gets us to the work of pianist/composer Satoko Fujii. MORE

June 2, 2000

TOM VARNER

Swimming
OmniTone 11903

Although Tom Varner is probably best known as one of the very few improvising French horn players, this CD highlights his exceptional compositional and arrangement skills. Like many contemporary musicians with a convincing knowledge of jazz, classical and pop music, he's able to employ it without resorting to pastiche or forced congruency.

Take the showpiece "Seven Miniatures for Mark Feldman", for instance. Ranging from an eyeblinking one minute to two minutes and 31 seconds, these are mini-recital pieces, designed to show off the violinist's many talents and range from nearly straightforward chamber music presentations to herky-jerky carnival tunes. As expected, Feldman rises to the challenge and then some.

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