Feldman has assembled this group with Hecht specifically to play compositions from Feldman’s recording on ECM from 2005, What Exit, which is also being reissued this year. Covering a wide territory of emotional and harmonic soundscapes, these compositions show off Feldman’s exceptional range, from haunting lyricism and delicacy to hard-charging grooves, music that is alternately fierce and probing, and also not above cracking a joke or two.
Grammy award-winning violinist Mark Feldman’s career has spanned many musical worlds and a tremendous list of collaborators; a unique figure in jazz, Feldman is a violinist with impeccable classical technique and a unique modern jazz style. In addition to his own projects, his 230-plus album credits and extensive touring history are impressive in their breadth: a member of the John Abercrombie quartet for over 10 years, he has recorded and toured with Pharoah Sanders, Billy Hart, Paul Bley, Uri Caine, Muhal Richard Abrams, Placido Domingo, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Michael Brecker, and Lee Konitz. He also toured and recorded with John Zorn for over 30 years. In 2007 he was awarded the prestigious Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. His own projects include What Exit (ECM, 2005), Music for Violin Alone (1995), produced by John Zorn for his Tzadik label, and Sounding Point (2021) on the Swiss label Intakt. Feldman’s intuitive approach to his instrument, his lightning-fast ears and adventurous approach to jazz and improvisation have earned him worldwide recognition. Recently he relocated to Chicago after 36 years in New York City.
Pianist Paul Hecht is an emerging figure in the Chicago jazz scene, who has recently moved into music after a career teaching poetry. In addition to his work in this quartet, he leads a trio with bassist Ben Dillinger and drummer Gustavo Cortiñas that performs his original compositions. Other notable Chicago-area collaborators include Michael Hudson-Casanova, James Davis, Rob Clearfield, Matt Ulery, Greg Ward, Daniel Thatcher, Tim Davis, James Russell Sims, Peter Castronova, Al Keeler, Samuel Peters, Harry Tonchev, and Emma Dayhuff. Hecht’s book about English poetry at the end of the sixteenth century, What Rosalind Likes, has just been published by Oxford University Press.
Ethan Philion (bass) is an award-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader based in Chicago. He was the winner of the International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition (2019) and a Luminarts Jazz Fellowship (2020). Philion leads three ensembles in Chicago. He directs Meditations on Mingus—a 10-piece band that performs works by Charles Mingus pertaining to social justice. A record with the same name as the group has just been released by Sunnyside Records. He also performs his original music with a quartet featuring Greg Ward, Russ Johnson, and Dana Hall. He also leads an acoustic trio featuring Philion’s arrangements of standards in the Nat King Cole Trio/Ray Brown Trio style.
Quin Kirchner (drums) is a seasoned touring and recording artist based in Chicago. After appearing on numerous recordings and in a wide variety of esteemed ensembles, Kirchner has recently released his first two recordings as a leader, The Other Side of Time (2018), and The Shadows and the Light (2020), both of which are long-form musical journeys, covering a wide range of styles and showcasing his many influences. Both recordings have received glowing reviews from the international jazz press.