Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ivo Perelman with Joe Morris and Gerald Cleaver - The Art of the Improv Trio Volume 6 (Leo Records, 2016)

Saxophonist Ivo Perelman saves one of the best albums of this series of trio recordings for last with this very exciting encounter with Joe Morris on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums. This is a live recording which adds to the listener's anticipation, recorded at the Manhattan Inn in New York City. The music consists of an expansive forty-two minute collective improvisation and then a shorter encore. Although Morris may be best known as a guitarist, he has been recording on bass for several years and has developed an admirable approach to the instrument, bowing and plucking with aplomb, and he is at the center of the music that is created on this album. Cleaver has a unique conception his instrument as well, developing swathes of percussive sound that seem to shift and sway like desert sands, adding color and shading to the music. The leader sounds particularly inspired by their company and he is very comfortable in the live setting and with the sympathetic audience which allows him to stretch out with great gales of sound, encouraged and challenged by his colleagues. The music is light and lithe despite its power, which is considerable. The three musicians are truly in the moment working together collectively in real time to produce music that waxes and wanes, from torrential bursts of sound to abstract and quieter tones that frame the overall soundscape of the music. They work together in consort, laying the building blocks for their music and then setting the catalyst free that gives them the spark of life and the energy needed to improvise at such a high and courageous level. The musicians are in the act of creation live, not only are the members of the trio dependent on each other for the success of the endeavor, but a crowd of onlookers is also hanging on every note. This is jazz in it's purest sense, shorn of artifice and laid bare for all to see. The Art Of The Improv Trio Volume 6 -

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