IVO INNOVATIONS…Ivo Perelman: Octagon, Live In Brussels, Scalene, Philosopher’s Stone, Baltimore, Heptagon

Tenor saxist Ivo Perelman has to be one of today’s most prolific artists. Here is his latest batch of 6, count ‘em, 6 albums, all in various formations.

Heptagon finds Perelman in a familiar  quartet setting with Matthew Shipp/p, William Parker/b and Bobby Kapp/dr through 7 spontaneous pieces ranging from 3-7+ minutes. Shipp is Monkishly astute on the angular “Part 1” while some choppy currents on the peppy “Part 6.” Parker bows and snaps while Perelman sighs on the eerie “Part 2” and throbs to Kapp’s ride cymbal on the stomping “Part 3” with the leader sighing and gasping during “Part 4.” Rich interplay!

The 2 disc Live in Brussels has Perelman and Shipp in duo form for four pieces in a club, complete with chiming  plates for atmosphere, two at 20 minutes, one at 42 and one dashing by in at 4. The first disc and set has Perelman huffing and puffing through Shipp’s intricate and ectomorphic musings, with “Part 2” featuring Shipp scurrying like a squirrel for walnuts. The marathon workout of “Set 2” has the two swirling like Dervishes as the tenor saxman wails and Shipp prowls like a cat before going stark and dark for the four minute encore. A real endurance test.

Perelman and Shipp bring in drummer Jeff Cosgrove for a concert performance in Baltimore, a single song lasting 51 minutes. The workout includes bluesy subtones leading into a Neopolitan traffic jam while the energy rises and falls like the crests of a tsunami, as Perelman screeches in Wagnerian form. Cosgrove’s cymbals fly and crash while the snare snaps as Shipp brings the piece to a calm after the storm.

Cosgrove is replaced by drummer Joe Hertenstein for 10  pieces ranging from 3-7 minutes. The drummer scrambles like eggs on “Part 9” and adds kineticism to the busy “Part 3” while leading the trudge to the moaning “Part 1” with Perelman’s fluffy reed. Shipp lurks around the corner on “Part 4” and gives of dashes of Thelonious Monk as Perelman grunts on “Part 7.” Edgy moments with lingering themes.

Perelman ditches Shipp for the last quartet session with Gerald Cleaver/dr, Brandon Lopez/b and Wooley. The horns chirp with delight on “ Part 4” and growl for “Part 6.” Lopez’s bass is palpably thick on “Part 1” with strong trumpet work, and resonant with Cleaver’s loose pulse during “Part 2.” Sounds akin to kisses on the cheek are produced by Wooley’s mouthpiece on “Part 7” and Perelman laments like Pagliacci on “Part 6.” Frisky and free.

Perelman and Shipp bring in trumpeter Nate Wooley for a trio setting of 10 pieces, as both horns sigh on the melancholic “Part 10,” gasp for air on the searing “Part 6” and create unison lines on the agonizing “Part 4.” Perelman uses his pads for rhythm as he pants along with Wooley on ”Part 2” and the team bops on the choppy “Part 7” and Shipp splatters across the ivories during “Part 5.” Free falling!




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