If the art work seems to leap from your screen in the same bold and brilliant fashion that Perelman attacks his tenor saxophone there is good reason. You see, Perelman is an acclaimed graphic artist as well as famed musician and the art work here is a mirror image capturing the vivid imagination and textural clarity that is the trademark of the Perelman sound. A sound of delicate intimacy and of intense fury all channeled with a specific lyrical focus in mind - as it happens.
Form and function of the more traditionally accepted form of western influenced improvisational technique is pushed aside as the sound from Perelman's tenor is seemingly wrung out like a musical sponge. Colors you can touch, spatial grandeur that emphasizes the gift of spontaneous creativity and the joy both experienced by the artist, musicians and then presented to the listener. In short...The Gift. These ten improvisation for tenor, piano and bass represent the cohesive synergy possible while thinking outside the box but performing together as one voice. "The Gratuitous Act" is in reference to an act of solitude, a feeling most writers are all to familiar with. More importantly "The Gratuitous Act" made be in reference to that random act of kindness that instills an inner connectivity within us all. Perelman's robust yet highly emotive tone captures a moment in time that is remarkably relateable when considered on purely an emotional level as well as the dynamic tension of uncertainty on how this act may...or may not be received. Perhaps the polar opposite to "The Gratuitous Act" would be the slightly tongue in cheek "What Is Anguish" which is far more whimsical in presentation. "Enlistment" is an improvisational solo work by Perelman that would seem to deconstruct his harmonic armour only to reinforce the end result with an impeccable sense of melodic direction and balanced flow. There is a very zen like quality to The Gift, which is more of an experience than typical release for this critic.
As music journalism goes, personal opinion is just that and a perspective much in the same vein as an artistic perspective is open to vast degrees of interpretation. Tossing some of the conventional writing tools of the trade out the window as "conventional" is a word rarely associated with my name, I find The Gift incredibly inspirational as it does a unique an intriguing harmonic and lyrical exploratory on human emotions and conditions while not going nuts in doing so. Currently fighting a potentially life threatening illness, human self examination is something I think most people could relate to no matter their personal concerns. For me, this release is highly inspirational given the nature of my personal circumstance. The improvisational skills exhibited by all the participants here is extraordinary. The clearly defined and demonstrated relationship of the improviser with society and the human condition is nothing short of genius.
This release would make the mythical "desert island" list if I was limited to only a select few recordings.
Tracks: Too Good To Be True; The Gift; The Gratuitous Act; Refugee; What Is Anguish?; Submission To The Process; A Ride On A Camel; A Flower Bewitched And Too Bright By Far; Without Any Warning; Enlistment.
Personnel: Ive Perelman: tenor saxophone; Matthew Shipp: piano; Michael Bisio: bass.