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Monday, March 27, 2023

Sakina Abdou - Goodbye Ground (Relative Pitch Records, 2022)

By Keith Prosk

Sakina Abdou plays seven saxophone solos for alto, including a five-part suite, on the 43’ Goodbye Ground.

In 2022, the reedist also released their duo with guitarist Raymond Boni, Sources , as well as contributions to Eurythmia as a member of Eve Risser’s Red Desert Orchestra and to a realization of Michael Pisaro-Liu’s Radiolarians as a member of Muzzix. Goodbye Ground is their first solo release.

Conspicuous repetition draws the ear to its variation. Durational trills dwell on different segments of a melodic cycle, each note and set of notes developing interdependently. Intonations shift the shape of lines, in slurs, in stresses, in speeds and volumes, in extended soundings, in the disintegrating wind of overblows which peel apart the monophony to lay bare its many harmonic components rippling in the air like heat would distort it. Melodic permutations transpose the notes and stretch the cadence of sound and silence with syncope for a topological deformation or metamorphoses at scale but smaller moments remain the same enough for the recognition of repetition. While overt variations in intonation color tones in a vacuum their changing neighbors also effect the perception of them. Solo records, especially first ones, commonly present as foundational to instrument/instrumentalist identity, sometimes shorthanded as tone, and here we have a conscious, commanding play with tone itself.