Sakina Abdou, Barbara Dang, Peter Orins: Lescence / Gmatique

We’ve had this on the books a while but it’s an oddball; with Circum-Disc sending us some more new jazz, we thought we’d have a go.

We’ve had some Peter Orins before and it was recognisably jazz, as in when you play the piano you get piano noises. Not so here. The trio play sax, piano, and apparently drums, but the sounds recorded are (mostly) everything but a note. There are two tracks, each a side long, and much of Lescence sounds like a squirrel rummaging inside a stack of wood, a scramble here, a chew there, then shake some nuts around. The musicians have definitely climbed inside the piano for some of this; the drummer has some brushes but is keeping the business end away from the snare, instead scrapping the drumhead with the handle, and there may be a mouse. Gmatique opens sounding like wind chimes, with the chimes removed. Is it unpleasant? No. Is it music? It is if they say it is.

The opening section could pass as ambient but then it’s more found sound. Some parts are nice in an autonomous sensory meridian response kind of way. it is what it is; curiouser and curioser, as Alice might have said.

Out on Circum-Disc, Helix LX013.

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