Moroccan tenor saxophonist in a trio with Benjamin Duboc & Edward Perraud, extended examinations on tracks of extended technique and expressive approaches to improv.
Bennani, Abdelhai Trio
There Starts the Future
Released in: Sweden
"Born in Fes in Morocco in 1950, Abdelhaï Bennani studied in Marseilles [..] then moved to Paris, when he has been affiliated with players as distinctive as bassist Alan Silva, guitarist Camel Zekri and drummer Makoto Sato.
[...] Bennani's drummer is Edward Perraud, part of the microtonal band Hubbub as well as backing such disparate saxophonists as Jean-Luc Guionnet and Arthur Doyle. Bassist Benjamin Duboc is even more versatile. His list of associates takes in Sato, Guionnet, trumpeter Roy Campbell and saxophonists Michel Doneda and Oliver Lake. [...] In turns discursive, distracted and distanced in his soloing [...] Bennani's mid-tempo performance is one of examination not assertion. Self-focused curvaceous trills, wispy breaths and strangled cries are his most common stratagems. Altissimo shrills, reed splintering and whistling are sometimes used for emphasis, but as abruptly as these explosions occur, they vanish - to be replaced by further plaintive mutterings and taut overtone ruminations.
Responding in an admirable fashion, Duboc and Perraud use almost every tactic available to the non-idiomatic instrumentalists to maintain rhythmic flow on the two overlong improvisations. Bennani's repetitive split tones and striated cries are met by double-stopping thumps and string scrapes from the bassist and ratcheting reverb plus beat fastening from the drummer. If the saxophonist confines himself to excavating timbres within his horn's body tube, cork and reed, Duboc enlivens those responses with harsh friction, sul ponticello runs and stops high up near the bass scroll. Meanwhile Perraud contributes paradiddles played with mallets on top of drum heads plus cymbal scratches and pings.
Rendering his parts with suppressed ferocity that suggest Edward Munch's "The Scream", the saxman's mercurial output occasionally initiates billowing, shredded reed tones as if Perraud's ratamacues and Duboc's power strokes threaten to reduce him to further silence. Nonetheless, the bassist's and drummer's self-discipline is commendable when they resort to hand slaps on drum tops and positioned taps on the bass's belly and ribs to enliven Bennani's indolent lowing without masking it. Miraculously tonal fragmentation is masticated into a recapping of the initial head by Bennani during the second tune's penultimate moments. Rounding the circle with Duboc's staccato rumbles and Perraud's rim-shot knocks, the piece concludes disconcertedly, when the saxman literally stops making sounds. [...]"-Ken Waxman, www.jazzword.com
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Catalog ID: aylCD-083
Squidco Product Code: 11237
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded at Les Instants Chavires, Montreuil, France on June 6, 2007.
Abdelhai Bennani-tenor sax
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1. In The Beginning Was The Light 29:30
2. I Had A Dream 32:04