Saturday, October 26, 2019

Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp - Efflorescence Vol. 1 (Leo Records, 2019)

Tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp have collaborated in many configurations during their careers, but on this four disc set, they really seem to have reached a new plateau in their performances. While Perelman states that they never have a concept beforehand, other than just going for it, and trying to be mindful and one hundred percent in the moment, the music captured here has a very lyrical and natural flow to it, where nothing is forced and they seem particularly well attuned to one another, allowing the music to evolve with an organic grace and symmetry. Each musician brings a unique approach to the recording, whether it is Shipp's powerful use of the lower end of the keyboard or Perelman's stoic flights into the upper register of his horn, but these are just parts of the tapestry that is woven over the course of the music. The duo makes use of a wide range of approaches, continuously varying the feel, appearance, or consistency of the surface or substrate of their improvisations. Creativity, in the way in which the textures, techniques and emotional resonances play out over the course of the four discs keeps the music from becoming stilted or stale and in fact this is one of the most listenable of the mutli-disc Perelman projects, with each of the relatively short pieces flowing logically and seamlessly into the next one, creating a synthesis that is easy for the listener to follow and be swept up in as they develop ideas and concepts that evolve in real time, allowing for conversation and a back and forth sharing of ideas and motifs. Originally, it was thought after the success of the Oneness album Perelman and Shipp released in 2018, there would be a break in action for the duo while they explored other projects. Fortunately, this was not the case, and the creative instinct struck hard and fast, leading these two musicians back into the studio for several days of recording, the remainder of which will be released shortly. They have a simpatico musical relationship where each complements the other in this duo setting, leading to one of their finest statements yet. Efflorescence, Vol. 1 -

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