Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ivo Perelman The Clairvoyant Leo 2012

Creativity...When, where, and how it will strike and better still would be the question, "under what circumstances?" are best left alone for reasons of maximum effect and artistic integrity.  - Brent Black, Publisher.

In my younger days while playing tenor saxophone, I had a great many influences,  and this was my undoing. Whether you are a sculptor, a writer or a famous musician the people that seem to rise to the top of their craft or at the very least see through their craft to the end result while their work is like the proverbial lump of clay should appreciate the aptly titled The Clairvoyant from Ivo Perelman coming Nov. 06, 2012.
Perelman can see past the music with a zen like approach of focus, intensity and the appreciation of the stunning grandeur of silence when appropriate. Ivo Perelman has done but what a mere handful of jazz musicians have done, Perelman seems to have found his artistic center with the intellectual honesty and freedom that allows him the ability to take his current working ensemble and dissect it. It is only when you understand the sum total of the parts and how these parts create their own synergy of lyrical motion can you proceed with your own.

As a writer, I've been making the difficult leap of faith away from the more calculated and analytical research that is "expected" and have instead been inspired by Perelman to see past the recording in an attempt to grasp or perhaps channel the sonic intent of the artist with my interpretation as but a secondary perspective as to what the artist may have been searching for. When adopting this somewhat revolutionary idea for working writers, the next day I found myself greeted with congratulatory email from artists, publishers, and record executives. While my concern and focus is always artist/listener driven, the immediate reaction to "be the ball" was eye opening to say the least. The Clairvoyant is one of three full length discs being released on 11/06/12 and having released at least five others over the previous two plus years one begins to ask is Ivo Perelman reaching his creative apex? I would venture an educated guess based on prior conversation even Perelman does not have the answer to that question. Some things are better left alone. Perelman is the perfect chameleon, while embracing that "New York State of Mind" there is the love of Brazilian folk music that creeps providing new colors to his music. Colors you can touch. Sound you can taste. A deconstructed attack on the visceral and cerebral before you are made whole yet again.

The Clairvoyant is a baseless trio which is a rarity in the jazz world much less the free jazz aesthetic which is actually a phrase coined by critics that had no clue as to where players such as Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman were coming from in certain areas of their performance. Despite working as a tenor player, I have no problem under certain elements of fundamental theory then with Ivo Perelman, I walk away scratching my head figuring the best place for my tenor after listening is on the wall of a local T.G.I Fridays which brings me to the meat of my review.

I shy away from the overtly technical simply because that is assuming one has an audience of professional musicians and while that is a large number of people that read my work, my intent is for the passive listener or closet jazz aficionado to expand his musical horizons and listen - really listen to the work of a master. A former editor once cautioned me on throwing out such high praise as taste is subjective but the blatantly obvious is not. Within The Clairvoyant we find Perelman acknowledging his studies of literature from other instruments as to create a larger vocabulary on the tenor saxophone. Perelman practises Baroque trumpet exercises so that playing two octaves higher than the normal saxophone range he can clearly hear and articulate any musical thought he hears. Another key to Perelman's brilliance, he hears sounds and rhythms in ways most musicians never will. I could easily prattle on about other technical nuances that unless one plays then these litany of facts would become quickly lost.

In a nutshell...some musicians are said to be "technically proficient" while others are "artistically gifted." Ivo Perelman is the best of both worlds by taking these two great gifts and then not playing from the heart, the soul or just the head - Perelman goes far deeper than any saxophonist to come before him. A centered and incredibly well balanced release with Perelman and his trio playing with and off each other without what some might consider the natural shackles that the bass would impose by forcing the ensemble to move past any preconceived or transcribed manuscripts. Free flight is the rule of the day.

Tracks: The Clairvoyant; Ritual; Torture and Glory; A Mere Speck of Dust; State of Grace; Silken Threads; The Expedients of a Primitive Being; Fear of Eternity.

Personnel: Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Matthew Shipp: piano; Whit Dickey: drums.