“A” Trio – Music to our Ears: Acoustic Improv goes Electric
Listen to The Shape of Jazz that Came – Track #3
“A” Trio is Mazen Kerbaj (Trumpet) and Sharif Sehnaoui (acoustic guitar) and Reed Yassin (double bass). Music to our ears is a tidy little disc just released on Mazen Kerbaj’s label from Lebanon Called Al Maslakh (The Slaughtehouse).
Track one is a giant of a tack, a relentless tale of meandering imaginings that insists on its own transformation several times throughout the piece. The music (all for tracks here) are not electronic, rather acoustic, implying a kind of ‘get back’ to the instrument itself feel – while at the same time moving beyond anything that sounds even remotely like the instrument. It’s thirty-three minutes long and at that by far the longest piece on the disc. The other three pieces are just as beautiful is shorter and speak to a potent symbiosis that tells us these musicians play together regularly but are not afraid to push each others boundaries and buttons regularly.
Listen to Tomorrow, I’ll make Breakfast – Track #4
The thing that struck me in my listening experiences of this disc is the relationships between player and instrument. I found myself visualising and trying hard to make out each player and their extension – where usually I try to lose myself in the piece and not “overthink”. With each of these talented musicians the calculable is pushed as far as it can go in the direction of the incalculable. There is an eventual impact of the multiplicity of the surrounding conditions that recursion can assimilate and a powerful processing that calculation and thinking through the instruments can reach. For this album these states are reached through a kind of mania – a frenzied pace that mirrors itself and its surrounding sounds. It will then pause and reflect again and then dramatically move into another direction / potentially transformational relation to the world, as within itself the music examines itself, the instruments and its playing peers. Through this unmarked apostophic turn, they accomplish many tasks. The very understanding of each musicians alterity is fused with the recognition of the instruments “previous” or “earlier” self. (Tack 3 is called “The shape of Jazz that came”. ) The reactions of each musician with the other, while fused with recognition, eliminates any possible substitution. This means the very music is as much itself as its own musical surrogate, bringing the listeners awareness of an immersion into sound within a self-evolving listening narrative into a new and advanced level.
This is a beautiful disc. The true potency of it lies in the collaboration between the artists and between the artists and their instruments. That is where this power lies.
“A” Trio – Music to our ears is available at Al Maslakh records