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The long–running duo of NY pianist Matthew Shipp and Brazilian/NY saxophonist Ivo Perelman forms the basis for this excellent quartet, with mainstays Michael Bisio on bass and Whit Dickey on drums, in an expressive and soulful album that balances enthusiasm and brilliant restraint.

Perelman, Ivo / Matthew Shipp / Michael Bisio / Whit Dickey

Perelman, Ivo / Matthew Shipp / Michael Bisio / Whit Dickey: Soul (Leo)

Label: Leo    
Released in: Great Britain    

"Many paths led to this album. It can be seen as the duo of Ivo Perelman (tenor saxophone) and Matthew Shipp (piano), who recorded the majestic Corpo a week before, plus the rhythm section of Michael Bisio (double bass) and Whit Dickey (drums); or the most recent Shipp trio with Bisio and Dickey, responsible for four outstanding releases, plus Perelman; the trio of Perelman, Shipp and Bisio, who've made one recording, plus Dickey, as has the trio of Perelman, Shipp and Dickey, plus Bisio; or the trio of Perelman, Bisio and Dickey, which have performed but not recorded, plus Shipp; or the combined duos of Perelman and Dickey, and Shipp and Bisio, both of which have released albums. There's also the two previous outings by this quartet: The Edge (Leo Records, 2013) and The Other Edge (Leo Records, 2014).

Such a multiplicity of relations is reflected in the album as a whole - ceaseless activity but never crowded; four musicians entirely at ease with each other and comfortable with their own space and fit, sensitive to even slight changes in energy, mood and focus. There's a relaxed feel to the date and an assurance which allows thinking in paragraphs rather than sentences, each piece a self-contained drama, from the cinematic scope of the opening 'Metaphysical' to Shipp's intimate prelude which opens the title track and Perelman's gorgeous lyric line later in the same piece, full of subtle inflections. There's much to enjoy: the duo of bass and sax which opens 'Joy', later joined by piano and drums, the shifting balances of 'Eyound' and the pounding dance in 'Crossing' which resurfaces throughout the piece, a thought that can't be shaken off.

A word about the recording. Like all the releases reviewed this week and many of Perelman's recent albums, Soul was recorded at Park West Studios, Brooklyn, engineered by Jim Clouse. The acoustic is intimate, revealing the full range of instrumental textures: the sparkle and luscious resonance of Shipp's fine piano, the delicate hues of Perelman's tenor, Bisio's weighty registers and the clatter of Dickey's drums and soft decay of his cymbals. Such sound aids appreciation of the organic flow of a piece like 'Fragments' (a popular title among improvisers) in which an assemblage of darting phrases gradually coalesce and from which Perelman's intensely expressive saxophone emerges.

What about the album title? Perelman's recording prior to this was Corpo (Body) - do the albums form a complimentary pair, a rendition in music of Cartesian Dualism perhaps, or joined together, an allusion to the great jazz standard famously recorded by Coleman Hawkins? Probably not: as noted by Neil Tesser in his liner notes, each album has both body and soul, and the tune doesn't put in an appearance on either. Maybe the title, and album cover, simply reflect the deep-rooted community of purpose shared by these musicians and the fluid discourse and free flow of ideas this enables. I'd be happy with five albums of just this quartet - a reasonable enough request."-Colin Green, The Free Jazz Collective

"Matthew Shipp was born December 7, 1960 in Wilmington, Delaware. He started piano at 5 years old with the regular piano lessons most kids have experienced. He fell in love with jazz at 12 years old. After moving to New York in 1984 he quickly became one of the leading lights in the New York jazz scene. He was a sideman in the David S. Ware quartet and also for Roscoe Mitchell's Note Factory before making the decision to concentrate on his own music.

Mr Shipp has reached the holy grail of jazz in that he possesses a unique style on his instrument that is all of his own- and he's one of the few in jazz that can say so. Mr. Shipp has recorded a lot of albums with many labels but his 2 most enduring relationships have been with two labels. In the 1990s he recorded a number of chamber jazz cds with Hatology, a group of cds that charted a new course for jazz that, to this day, the jazz world has not realized. In the 2000s Mr Shipp has been curator and director of the label Thirsty Ear's "Blue Series" and has also recorded for them. In this collection of recordings he has generated a whole body of work that is visionary, far reaching and many faceted."

-Matthew Shipp Website (

See all items in the Leo Records category

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Leo Records
New in Improvised Music

Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog

Search for other titles on the Leo label.

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Price: $13.91
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 4.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 5024792073924

Label: Leo
Catalog ID: LEO 739
Squidco Product Code: 22161

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Parkwest studios, in Brooklyn, New York, in July 2015, by Jim Clouse.


Ivo Perelman-tenror saxophone

Matthew Shipp-piano

Michael Bisio-bass

Whit Dickey-drums

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Track Listing:

1. Metaphysical 5:48

2. Crossing 8:03

3. Eyound 7:03

4. Fragments 5:00

5. Belvedere 4:34

6. Landscape 5:03

7. Soul 8:06

8. Joy 5:52

9. The Unknown 6:46