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The cracked, pinched, squeaked, and scraped sounds of the twin trumpets of Mazen Kerbaj and Birgit Ulher and the damped, scrubbed, and rasping sounds of Sharif Sehnaoui seem surprisingly familiar these days. Now that so many players have incorporated these techniques into their vocabularies, it allows one to focus on how they‘re used interactively rather than simply as sounds in and of themselves. Kerbaj and Sehnaoui have gained some visibility as core members of a group of free improvisers based in Beirut, Lebanon. Ulher has branched out from her native Germany, recording in a variety of contexts with musicians like Gino Robair, Michael Zerang, and Roger Turner. The close-miked, dry sound of this intimate session (recorded at Ulher's flat in Hamburg) picks up every detail of the six improvisations. Each is full of tiny flurries of buzzing activity as ideas tossed in to the collective fray are picked up, honed and extended. The three play with the core elements of duration and densities; within the relatively narrow confines of their instrumental approaches, they build their improvisations from the velocity of sound, whether slow breathy tones, burred flutters, metallic scraped strings, or harmonic overtones. While these three might not be charting any new territory, this session captures the unceremonious directness of their trio.
Cat. number: CS 110
Year: 2010

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