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