SYLVIE COURVOISIER CHIMAERA feat. Christian Fennesz, Nate Wooley, Drew Gress, Nasheet Waits & Kenny Wollesen

!!!! new album released Oct. 20th 2023 on Intakt Records !!!!

Prolific pianist-composer Sylvie Courvoisier’s newest ensemble — the atmospheric, shape-shifting Chimaera — will be touring across Europe from July to September 2024, performing music from Courvoisier’s double-disc Chimaera album, to be released in November 2023 via the Swiss label Intakt. The virtuoso touring group features Christian Fennesz on electric guitar/effects, Nate Wooley on trumpet and Drew Gress on double-bass alongside a pair of percussionists: Nasheet Waits on drums and Kenny Wollesen on drums and vibraphone. The Swiss-born, Brooklyn-based Courvoisier — whom The New York Times described as “a pianist of equal parts audacity and poise” — has played notably in the Big Apple and beyond with Wooley and Waits, while Gress and Wollesen are longtime members of her ever-excellent trio, praised on both sides of the Atlantic. Chimaera’s wildcard is Fennesz, the Austrian artist known for his ambient-textured work both solo and in league with such figures as Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian, as well as with the ECM-affiliated band Food. Spacious and shimmering, Chimaera presents a reverie of sound unlike any the prize-winning Courvoisier has crafted before.
For the music of Chimaera — initially commissioned by the Sons d’hiver festival in Paris — Courvoisier was inspired by the Symbolist paintings of Odilon Redon (1840-1916), a French artist whose fantastical, hallucinatory work aimed to place “the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible.” Redon’s otherworldly images marked him as a precursor to the Surrealists; moreover, he likened these enigmatic pictures to music, in that they evoked “the ambiguous realm of the undetermined.” The lucid-dream sounds of Courvoisier’s Chimaera album stay true to this impulse, floating and elusive like shadows on the ocean; on tour, the pianist’s sextet will make her compositions come alive in the moment, expansive and subtly different from night to night — the melodic glint of trumpet, piano and vibraphone atop a rolling groove of rhythmic ambience, with Fennesz’s magic clouds of guitar enveloping the band.
Such is the beguiling quality of Chimaera that it could turn out to be Courvoisier’s most celebrated project to date. But she has been going from strength to strength for years, crossing borders with a creative spirit and a free mind. Courvoisier earned her renown for balancing two distinct worlds: the richly detailed depth of her European chamber-music roots and the hard-grooving, hook-laden sounds of the downtown New York jazz scene. She has interpreted music from Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps to John Zorn’s Bagatelles, revealing new possibilities. Her two-decade partnership with violinist Mark Feldman yielded a seemingly telepathic duo, as well as an acclaimed quartet; she has also pursued ear-opening collaborations with such avant-jazz luminaries as Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, Ellery Eskelin, Susie Ibarra, Fred Frith and Mary Halvorson. As NPR’s Kevin Whitehead has said: “Some pianists approach the instrument like it’s a cathedral… Sylvie Courvoisier treats it like a playground.” — Bradley Bambarger

Line Up

Sylvie Courvoisier, piano
Nate Wooley, trumpet
Christian Fennesz, guitar, electronics
Drew Gress, bass
Kenny Wollesen, vibes
Nasheet Waits, drums




10.07.2024  tourstart
14.07.2024  ROTTERDAM/Netherlands
29.07.2024  return home


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