Saturday, March 23, 2019

Ivo Perelman / Mat Maneri / Nate Wolley - Strings 3 (Leo Records, 2019)

Well regarded tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman's first group of recordings of the year 2019 constitute four discs of encounters with different string instrument players. I was interested to learn from Neal Tesser's excellent liner notes that Perelman's original instrument as a child was the cello, of which he was regarded as a prodigy, and that he carried a particular affinity for instruments like this as he moved to tenor saxophone and developed his unique personal manner of improvisation. For this album he chose the viola player Mat Maneri who has a considerable reputation as a improviser and an open minded musical thinker as a leader and a collaborator. In the past, Perelman often shied away from using brass instruments in his projects before coming acquainted with trumpeter Nate Wooley, who rounds out the group for this album. The trumpeter's level of malleability and focus on the needs of the music over any showmanship quickly won over the saxophonist upon their meeting. It's good that these players are wired this way, because Perelman records in a very impulsive method, booking studio time and bringing the players together with no prepared music or arrangement. With certain musicians would certainly be a recipe for disaster, but these three are clear headed free improvisers who can make use of a blank slate and compose music spontaneously and create a lasting work of art. These three particular instruments are capable of taking notes and tones and carrying them over a long period, weaving within one another or clashing against one another, and this makes the the lengthy "Track 1" very interesting as the tones rise and fall and build complicated structures within the overall group sound. The group is able to get a wide variety of color and hue from their instruments and this is a theme that moves steadily and continuously as a current throughout the record, whether they are playing flat out ripping up section of "Track 9" or weaving together like a multi colored ribbon on a particularly well wrapped present on the deep and beautiful "Track 7." It will be interesting to see where this music will go forward, because as Tresser notes, Perelman has become more aware of exploring not just combinations of instruments, but combinations of people, or as he's quoted as saying "So I've been fooling myself, thinking that I'm experimenting with instrument types. "I've really been experimenting with individuals." It will be fascinating to see which individuals come together for the next project. Strings 3 - Leo Records

Send comments to Tim.