Pirly Zurstrassen


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Recorded in September 2000, Septimana is the sole album documenting the duet of pianist Pirly Zurstrassen and violinist Jean-Pierre Catoul. From different generations, the two musicians had been playing together in and out since 1999. This project came to fruition just in time, a few months before Catoul's untimely death. All the music is Zurstrassen's. The 15 tracks are grouped in three suites and one coda, but each movement stands well on its own; actually, one wonders why the pianist considers them as groups. "Septimana" attributes one piece for each day of the week. "Pittura" couples two lightly more romantic numbers, while "Primavera" dedicated five spirited compositions to springtime (contradicting the autumn theme of the artwork). Each piece is rather concise (three to five minutes) and explores the melodic possibilities of a single idea. The music recalls Michel Petrucciani and clearly belongs to the French school of modern creative jazz -- including the delicate touch of classical impressionism. The real point of interest of Septimana is Catoul's playing. His precise yet lyrical phrasing matches the pianist's perfectly. This album took him far away from his jazz-rock beginnings.

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