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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Ned Rothenberg, Mark Feldman, Sylvie Courvoisier - In Cahoots (Clean Feed, 2016) ****½

By Stefan Wood

The album "In Cahoots" is an inventive, atmospheric, and exploratory trio session, featuring Ned Rothenberg (clarinet, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, shakuhachi), Mark Feldman (violin), and Sylvie Courvoisier (piano).  Each track is full of tension and dynamic interplay.  
A standout track is "Epic Proportions," where Courvoisier's piano excursions reach out far into the unknown, building and then tearing down, pushing in one direction then pulling back.  Rothenberg and Feldman each draw upon diverse influences - Japanese classical music and gypsy folk -- that mix with Courvoisier's sound, coagulate and then quietly burst.  The interplay is tight and full of surprising turns and twists.  The title track, "In Cahoots," exemplifies this, a twelve plus minute improvisation that blurs the sounds of all three instruments into a very organic, and highly developed soundscape.  There is also a strong classical influence on the music.  "Primary," a quick three minute track, is a delicate and intricate track that features the interactive play of Feldman's violin and Rothenberg's clarinet, feeling like a mixture of Bartok with John Carter.  
Available from clean feed records, "In Cahoots" is another top notch album in their extensive catalogue of outstanding modern music.  Rothenberg, Feldman and Courvoisier bring to the table an album that is quite unique, and is highly recommended.