Monday, April 03, 2017

Ivo Perelman - The Art of Perelman - Shipp Volume 4: Hyperion (Leo Records, 2017)

The fourth volume of this seven disc extravaganza features tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew in the company of their longtime compatriot, bassist Michael Bisio. They play ten relatively short completely improvised tracks, beginning with “Part 1” which shows a gentler side of the music with Perelman’s lush breathy saxophone met by soft piano and full bodied bass. The music is spacious and wide open, and the musicians are patient in letting it develop of its own accord. “Part 2” takes things up a notch with a stronger and faster collective improvisation. The music sounds tight and muscular, with deep throbbing bass supporting and engaging the high pitched saxophone and piano, and the proceedings develop a thrilling pace with squeals and squalls of saxophone leading the way. The three work together flawlessly to make the longest track on the album the most exciting, and it seems like they could have kept this level of inventiveness up forever. The forcefulness slows a bit for “Part 3” but the level of intensity and interaction remains high. There is a deep seated interplay, where the musicians don’t need to shout to be heard, but the conversation remains vital at any speed. Perelman breaks out for a powerful leading statement before dropping back so a softer tone for the conclusion of the piece. The soft and spacious approach to the music returns on “Part 4” with each musician staking out a location in the musical firmament. There is a well developed collective improvisation taking place with the power and volume waxing and waning in a dynamic fashion. Piano and bass rumble with increasing speed as Perelman’s torrential saxophone gives the music the utmost sense of excitement. “Part 6” mines ballad territory in a surprising fashion, with delicate consistency. Shipp’s spare droplets of piano open the selection, and continue on a beautiful solo piano spotlight with a delicate and understated touch. The full band is back on “Part 7” winding up like a mighty engine. Each of the musicians has a strong personalities of their own, but they use sense of this identity to come together for a formidable collective improvisation, spooling out a wide range of techniques and abilities in the service of the whole, setting the tone that permeates the entire album. “Part 8” has spare piano and bowed bass with arcs of saxophone overhead like so many shooting stars, creating a very haunting and emotional feel. More urgency is applied to “Part 9” with the growth of the potency maintained by all three musicians. Shipp applies a bright, ringing sound to his instrument as the music bounds forward with a spring in its step. Matthew Shipp is once again given a beautiful solo coda to the album on “Part 10” ending the one of the best albums in this series in an elegant and thoughtful fashion. Hyperion -

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