Blue Rain |cs296









[…] Termino com uma pérola do reducionismo que-já-não-o-é-tanto-assim. “Blue Train” é uma gravação de Mazen Kerbaj com os Rodrigues, Carlos Santos e Sharif Sehnaoui em que pouco se reduz. Os silêncios são ainda mais falsos, pois há algo sempre a mexer, o espaço apresenta-se repleto de pequenos e grandes eventos simultâneos e há um bulício constante. Tudo funciona em bloco, com subidas de tensão e volume que farão, certamente, com que Malfatti, se ouvir o presente CD, escreva um manifesto sobre a pureza a preservar do “near silence”. Afinal, foi ele quem repreendeu Thomas Lehn por este se movimentar muito a rodar os botões do seu sintetizador, dizendo-lhe que aquele “histrionismo” não era… silencioso. Rui Eduardo Paes (

[…] Et Blue Rain avec Mazen Kerbaj et Sharif Sehnaoui. Il fut un temps où certaines rencontres sous la houlette d’Ernesto restaient au niveau d’une tentative honorable, mais sans plus. Aujourd’hui, il se fait un point d’honneur à produire des enregistrements tous remarquables, réussis, pleins de sens apportant une nouvelle contribution à une esthétique vécue comme un cul de sac chez d’autres. Jean-Michel van Schouwburg (Orynx)

Followers of free jazz and free improv scenes should be familiar with the name and the sonic art of Lebanese trumpet player and former painter Mazen Kerbaj as well as his long-lasting collaborator, the guitar player Sharif Sehnaoui. He gained some notoriety for "Starry Night", a 40-minutes lasting improvisation on trumpet recorded in Beirut on the night between 16th and 17th July, where he also grabbed the noise of Israeli bombs outside in the middle of the so-called war of 33 days in 2006 that Israel declared against Hezbollah in Lebanon (killing many more civilians than members of Hezbollah actually...). The difficult situation in that area of the world profoundly influenced both the music and the paintings by Mazen: the Picasso-like cover artwork of this release comes from his hand, and the analogy with the political works by Picasso is not casual... and the title "Blue Rain" also seems to be a quotation of the very first cycle of Picasso's painting, the so-called blue period. One of the interesting aspect of this output by Portuguese label Creative Sources is the moment when it got recorded: it comes from an improv session recorded by Diego Tavares at Tcha3 Studio in Lisbon on 23rd June 2006, some days before the Israelian bombing, but when it was clear that a military escalation of the political situation could follow. The sonic painting by Mazen on his beloved trumpet, whose mouthpiece got commonly joined to a yellow tube, and Sharif together with Ernesto Rodrigues (viola), Guilherme Rodrigues (cello) and Carlos Santos (on computer and piezos... the thuds at the end of the first of the three untitled tracks included in this release, as well as other moments you can supposedly catch while listening to it, could sound like a grim foreboding) seems to mirror such a worried whiff. Vito Camarretta (Chain DLK)


Three foreboding tracks of aggressive and open improvisation from long-time collaborators Lebanese trumpet player Mazen Kerbaj and guitarist Sharif Sehnaoui in a quintet with Creative Sources labelmates Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Guilherme Rodrigues on cello, and Carlos Santos on electronics; a confrontational, at times frightening world of sound; gripping. (Squidco)