Friday, October 05, 2018

Ivo Perelman and Rudi Mahall - Kindred Spirits (Leo Records, 2018)

Recorded at Parkwest studios in Brooklyn during June of 2018, this is a matchup of two heavyweights from the free jazz/improvisation realm, Ivo Perelman on tenor saxophone and Rudi Mahall on bass clarinet. They produce a lengthy two disc set of duet improvisations that are inspired and well articulated. The tracks are un-named so we begin disc one with "Track One" which has a bubbling improvisation of original forward thinking music, with cries of sound increasing the dynamic range of the music. Their music is quite personal and the musicians interact at a very high level, and complementing each other as music becomes more high pitched and frantic. Loping around each other in constant motion, "Track Two" is reminiscent of two hummingbirds fluttering around searching for nectar. Darting to and fro, the musicians affirm and encourage, using short repetitive figures to support and provide leverage. "Track Three" has spare textures played in a quieter manner, longer cries of sound employing a crying tone give the music emotional resonance. This is a long and evolving improvisation that gains in pitch and intensity as it develops, leading to fast paced flurries of sound that have volume and synergy. Swirls of sound usher in "Track Four" as the musicians engage in the sharing of short crisp phrases of high pitched reedy sound, becoming raw and winding over a long time span. The approach evolves to the use of longer tones which make excellent dynamic use of available space by gaining and lowering the overall intensity. The first disc is concluded by "Track Five," a slow developing improvisation allowing space for the gradual development with hollow sounds and pinched accents gaining momentum and branching out into longer ribbons of sound punctuated by screams and ominous growls, like a mini suite all its own with self-contained movements. Moving on to the second disc, "Track One" has a softer approach setting the foundation for subterranean bass clarinet providing ground support for the tenor saxophone soaring overhead, before both instruments lift skyward for more energetic interplay flashing in the sky. "Track Two" has alarming and exciting cries of saxophone over bass clarinet, both achieving a free sound that makes the most of the openness, while "Tracks Three and Four" offer dramatic undulating improvisation, with sudden changes in attack keeping things interesting by adding choppy smears of sound. The long and gritty sounds emanate from the instruments, echoing the raw cry of instinctual fear and the sadness of being truly alone. Kindred Spirits -

Send comments to Tim.