“A” TRIO – Music To Our Ears

Al Maslakh

The record’s title seems to give an unsolicited answer to a hypothetical question by some kind of illiterate listener: “how do you call this stuff?”. Your reviewer gave up speaking music in depth since decades ago, utterly depressed by the mixture of ignorance and presumptuousness that a typical schmoozer offers to the counterpart. As I like to say, this is the topic about which no one knows shit yet everybody gives public speeches. The ability of enjoying sounds as they are – “good”, “bad”, “sweet”, “harsh” or whatever adjective you might wish to use – is THE foundation, not only of the mere act of listening but of living itself. It is something that teaches to respect the persons who talk without interrupting, trying to overwhelm them with our own argumentations. It is a means to get stronger in front of the adversities. Learn to really detect the various components of a piece, and the organization of life facts appear clearer in the mind (provided that the latter is not altered by certain substances). In this recording, Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet), Sharif Sehnaoui (guitar) and Raed Yassin (double bass) produce a great number of hard-to-describe sonorities that basically verge on the nasty side of things and, for the most part, are uneasily abrasive and downright stinging. They use drones, scraped surfaces, percussive gestures and motorized appliances to elicit meaningfully unseductive resonances. Sometimes they alter the timbre of the respective instruments in such a radical fashion that one just does not believe that there’s not a saxophone, or a distortion pedal in this set. But everything I heard is rational, enlivening, aggressive in a constructive way – and it IS (excellent) music to these ears, not likely to resemble anything emitted by other practitioners of the art of acoustic excoriation.

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