The musical puzzle or enigma that is Ivo Perelman requires but one basic skill to solve and that is simply to listen!
Brent Black / www.bop-n-jazz.com
Riding an unbridled wave of creativity that finds Brazilian saxophone titan Ivo Perelman both deconstructing and reinventing his own lyrical path we have the latest release, Enigma. While Perelman has taken his ensembles down to a bare bones minimalist approach which is somewhat unorthodox in the often misunderstood world of the free improvisational movement, a surprisingly new ensemble has taken shape with both Gerald Cleaver and Whit Dickey holding down the drum chair. While the expected sound by many might be that of a full on no holds barred visceral assault on the cerebral cortex, Perelman pulls a deep rich sound with meticulously crafted harmonic and rhythmic nuances to chart an amazingly defined sound in an undefinable genre. There is an amazing zen like synergy that lingers between Cleaver and Dickey, a rhythmic counterpoint of precision and at times whimsical flavor that both Perelman and Shipp seem to feed off throughout this eight track marvel.
Within a deep textured harmonious base, Perelman emerges with a well defined lyrical sense of purpose that to some may seem dialed down but in reality is a masterclass in control over effective phrasing and tonality within this most eclectic of 4tets. Ivo Perelman embraces the full range of possibilities that encompass his instrument with the technical expertise of a surgeon and the soul of a poet. Instead of a rhythmic apocalypse there are duets between Perelman and Dickey that lighten the mood while giving way to new and deeper levels of exploration. Having often said that free improvisation music is an acquired taste, Enigma while wildly accessible to the novice is incredibly engaging for the more advanced devote of this melodic methodology that makes some tighten up in the same fashion as the words "tax time" do each spring.
Enigma lacks nothing in intensity or a harmonic sense of purpose, it is simply another exploration in the ensemble possibilities of sound and silence that place Perelman is the ranks of musical visionaries such as Monk, Ayler, and Bill Evans. Cerebral improvisational music played with a visceral edge. One does not review Ivo Perelman, one listens.
Tracks: Enigma; Irresistible Incarnation; Annunciation; Supernatural Life; Return To Nature; Ritual; Gentle As A Fawn; A Bourgois Ideal.
Personnel: Ivo Perelman: Tenor Sax; Matthew Shipp: Piano; Whit Dickey: Drums; Gerald Cleaver: Drums.