Monday, November 5, 2012

Ivo Perelman Living Jelly Leo Records 2012

Entertainers bring with them the unique ability to spread joy and touch the heart usually within carefully predetermined time constraints and self imposed limitations of genre or idiom...An artist touches the soul for a lifetime. Brent Black www.criticaljazz.com

Ivo Perelman is an artist. An artist with the rare gift to transcend  yet fuse genres such as painting, graphic arts and music into a living hybrid of creative balance and texture. A matrix of emotional connectivity. Perpetual motion, A living jelly as it were. On November 6th, 2012 Perelman will release what I refer to as his musical hat trick and more importantly part of one of the most prolific creative outpourings in modern recorded music aptly titled Living Jelly. Two additional releases that follow will be released as well.

Perelman is a master craftsman but more importantly a master at deconstructing his own creative force with a special twist. Originally starting as a guitarist Perelman's keen ear and musical vision is allowing the world to see that one of the finest bassists to walk the planet may also posses one of the most unique voices heard on guitar in the last quarter century. Bassist Joe Morris is back and his harmonic grace and fluid motion on the upright bass is now translated to guitar making for perhaps the finest trio combination Perelman has assembled thus far. For this release as is typical there were no charts, no scores, nothing rehearsed. What you hear is what went down after "roll tape" was called. Organic chemistry and creativity taken to places  not visited and by many, not known. Ivo Perelman cordially invites you to his land of rhythm and groove. If Gerald Cleaver may well be the finest free lyrical drummers working today then Joe Morris is the perfect lyrical counterpoint for Perelman. A trio centered in the groove of sonic faith and the road less traveled. Perelman's creative approach shines a laser beam on the fundamental problem with jazz journalism today, that of the formulated and mass produced reviews meant for nothing more than generic consumption giving preciously little insight into the artistic intent of a particular project but instead the same review under revolving names. Paralysis by analysis has killed many a worthy review if not artistic creativity by self inflicted ambiguity of misguided reason.

Opening with "In The Pursuit Of Pleasure" one might think if only for an instance that Perelman was perhaps refocusing his harmonics back to his early influences from Sonny Rollins or perhaps a somewhat more universally inclusive commercial sound yet untapped, maybe both. The fact is Perelman is a cultural byproduct of his own invention be it graphic arts, the influence of Rollins or the vision to see through his own sound. The more things change the more they stay the same and the music is highly inclusive while remaining deliciously abstract in layers of textured melody. "The Sloth" is yet another tune showcasing the versatility of  the Perelman sound combined with the unique synergy of interdependence created by an ensemble that develops an organic pulse on their own. The articulation of Morris on guitar acts as an anchor of melody that is methodical and precise yet with an open ended approach that moves past what would be considered typical guitar voicing. This visceral approach of dynamic tension acts as the matrix of sound moving outside the box of acceptable convention by merely expanding the parameters of the box. Sound within sound. Closing with Living Jelly, the trio completes the song cycle of sound that is a harmonic exploratory coming full circle. The nuances of Morris on guitar, the pulsating groove of Cleaver on drums and the ever present controlled fury of Perelman triumph as three voices playing as one. Spatial significance is still a premium with this release but the intricacy of perpetual motion that is Living Jelly moves sound slightly left of center igniting the cerebral as well as visceral centers of musical thought.

Given the tracks included and an almost hypnotic sense of perpetual sonic motion and momentum, Living Jelly is not only one of the most creative works by Perelman but a testament that true artistry knows no preconceived limitations be they self-inflicted or industry inspired. An artist is as creative as they feel the need to be and Ivo Perelman continues to inspire with work unmatched by his contemporaries. Free jazz is a misnomer. Free improvisation is achieving balance amidst what would seem to be chaos and harmonic ambiguity and this is the genius of Ivo Perelman and this most gifted trio of artists. Perhaps the finest example of what a true three dimensional sonic depth of field is all about.


Tracks: In Pursuit of Pleasure; Playing With Mercury; The Sloth; Enigma; Living Jelly.

Personnel: Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Joe Morris: guitar; Gerald Cleaver: drums.