Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ivo Perelman - The Art of Perelman - Shipp Volume 1: Titan (Leo Records, 2017)

This is the first volume in an audacious seven disc series that places tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp in a wide variety of formations. They are joined on this album by a longtime partner, bassist William Parker for a thrilling trio recording. "Part One" begins with spare air quivering in space, as piano and bass gradually build in near the vocalized saxophone. The music is spacious and open, as befits conversation between equals who have deep trust in one another, and have developed an honest musical discourse. The music will develop a raw edge to it, with bounding bass amidst strident saxophone and patient piano notes and chords. The Perelman - Shipp interaction is in full force on "Part Two" with Parker's sawing bowed bass providing and excellent foil for both the pianist and saxophonist. Waves of sound fade in and out with the dynamic nature of the music, allowing a quieter and more introspective sound space to develop and be expounded upon by the musicians."Part Three" has a more strident and passionate performance, creating a ripe collective improvisation that is quite potent with Perelman's raw saxophone tone amidst the fully developed piano and interacting to create an impressive whole. Powerful peals of saxophone rip forth with deeply pulled bass and droplets of spare piano. Building from a gentle piano and saxophone introduction, "Part Four" is yearning and emotional. Parker's deep bass provides a firm foundation for a performance that seems fraught with danger and sadness. "Part Five" develops a raw and urgent trio improvisation, with strong full band interplay driving the music forward with great passion and spirit. Perelman steps out for some wonderfully nimble piano and bass interplay and he returns with great peals of sound that arc across the other instruments, and leads into a torrid section of free improvisation. Everything comes together on "Part Six," a nearly twenty minute master class in group interplay beginning with long tones of bowed bass and saxophone framed by droplets of piano. The music seems to warp space and time and develop its own reality of pure sound, waxing and waning in intensity and pace as the narrative of the music develops in real time. The musicians form a single organic unit which evolves and grows with an epic performance, including a very compelling section where Shipp excuses himself creating a great bass and saxophone interchange, followed by a section for bass and piano. This is a great album, and an excellent introduction to the collection. Shipp and Perelman have a nearly otherworldly connection, and adding the great bassist Parker to the equation only adds to the excitement. Titan -

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