The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

THIS Syd­ney trio, led by es­tab­lished sax­o­phon­ist Matthew Ot­tignon ( pre­vi­ously heard in the Java Quar­tet, Aronas and other con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian groups), takes an un­usual jour­ney. It’s de­scribed as a sound­track to the trio’s neigh­bour­hood, Syd­ney’s in­ner west, with its hid­den and aban­doned reser­voirs, bridges and in­dus­trial sites. The mu­sic fits this some­what bleak­sound­ing land­scape, us­ing post- in­dus­trial elec­tronic ef­fects plus heavy rhyth­mic grooves from drum­mer Hamish Stu­art and bassist Dave Symes. What could have been just an­other album of pound­ing rock fu­sion is res­cued by the softly re­strained tone and lyri­cal play­ing of Ot­tignon’s tenor sax on orig­i­nals of more than pass­ing in­ter­est. Mar­ble Sky opens to a gui­tar- like theme state­ment on elec­tric bass, adding a rock beat against sax with elec­tronic ef­fects — shim­mer­ing echoes — gen­er­at­ing images of empty fac­to­ries, smoke­stacks, cracked ce­ment, rust­ing iron, the throb of ghostly man­u­fac­tur­ing. Most tracks have such in­flu­ences, but In­ter­lude of the Exclusive One is a de­light­ful bal­lad played ex­pres­sively, with min­i­mal rhyth­mic back­ing.

John McBeath Ur­ban Park­land In­for­mal Troupe Jaz­zgroove/ Creative Vibes

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