‘A’ Trio – Folk (Al Maslakh, LP/digital)

The 'A' Trio consists of three light-footed heavyweights from the world of improv music: Mazen Kerbaj, Sharif Sehnaoui and Raed Yassin came together under this name in 2002, forming the first ever Lebanese group for free improvisation. A lot has happened in the following two decades. In 2003, the trio released its debut album, »A,« after which the members made a name for themselves in ever different constellations or as soloists on international stages and with a multitude of releases. Kerbaj and Sehnaoui also founded the label Al Maslakh, which the Berlin-based trumpeter and illustrator Kerbaj recently presented as part of a KISSA edition during the Month of Contemporary Music. The album »Folk« is now also being released there and highlights the aesthetic course changes of these three so different musicians since the founding of the group. In the these five composed pieces, the interplay of Kerbaj's trumpet, Sehnaoui's guitar and Yassin's double bass is less reminiscent of free jazz and more of a kind of echtzeitmusik that is characterised by intrinsic grooves, a free-floating approach that opens up an impressive spectrum of sound with acoustic means. Whether it's Kerbaj's striking extended playing techniques, Sehnaoui's idiosyncratic handling of the guitar as a literal resonant body and Yassin's booming bass: »Folk« offers as many points of contact between them as it does areas of friction. A live album is also due to be released later this year to celebrate the group's 20th anniversary.