Celebrating Ivo Perelman's 25th anniversary as a recording artist in a duo with legendary vibist Karl Berger (here on piano) for a special recording brimming with lyricism and a unique mix of virtuosity, wild abandon and romance.
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Catalog ID: LEO 712
Squidco Product Code: 19612
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Systems Two Studios, Brooklyn, New York, in March 2014 by Michael Marciano.
Ivo Perelman-tenor saxophone
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1. Transcendence 10:15
2. Contemplation 3:56
3. Pensiveness 13:38
4. Pursuance 5:19
5. Placidity 14:22
6. Reverie 6:38
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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"In 1989, Sao Paulo's Ivo Perelman released his first album, simply titled Ivo, featuring an all-star cast that included Flora Purim, Peter Erskine, Airto Moreira, Eliane Elias and John Patitucci, among others. Though the material was traditional Brazilian folk tunes, it was already apparent from this starting point that the fiery, instinctual Perelman had free jazz excursions in his future, and he in fact did. Many free jazz excursions.
A quarter of a century later, the master tenor saxophonist has made some fifty or so recordings, many of which are total improvs with kindred spirits ranging from Rashied Ali to Matthew Shipp. Just earlier this year we were talking up his recent one-on-one with viola ace Mat Maneri (Two Men Walking).
Perelman marks his twenty-five years as a recording artist with another duet, this time with veteran avant-garde composer, arranger, educator, pianist and vibraphonist Karl Berger. A protégé of Ornette Coleman, Berger and Coleman founded the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY in 1972, and the German-born Berger had participated in recordings of Carla Bley, John McLaughlin, Lee Konitz, and Alan Silva. He's led some dates of his own, going back to 1966. But he and Perelman hardly knew each other prior to them getting together for Reverie (on sale September 23, 2014 from Leo Records).
Their unfamiliarity, of course, is no barrier to Perelman, who prefers for all his performances to involve no forethought, just 100% spontaneity.
Since Perelman had very recently made several recordings that included Shipp, my ears sought to find the distinction of performing alongside Berger after having heard a lot of him performing alongside another luminary of improvisational piano. Perelman changes his musical partners on virtually every album he makes because he's so adaptive to whoever he's playing with while keeping within his own vocabulary, which is nearly limitless. In Berger, he found a partner who is a refined utilizer of space and timing. Displaying his European heritage, Berger is more apt to quote Debussy than Monk, even in a free setting. That sets the tone for this one.
Perelman responds to Berger by rarely going at full throttle, but he's just as capable of exhibiting intense passion in softer tones as he can with harsher ones. On "Transcendence" Perelman seems to be playing to some unknown melancholy melody, a void that is left to Berger to fill in as they go along. The affection moves from instances of awakening to anticipation to hopefulness to joy. Berger suddenly breaks out into a percussive groove briefly and Perleman reacts and leads the two back into the previous flow. On another idea, Ivo tests the upper end of his range with uncommon grace. Here, and as I later found, everywhere on this album, they together run through a dozen or thoughts within a song that could have formed the basis of songs on their own.
As they rummage through emotionally-based figures, never lingering on any of them overlong, they reach certain moments of poignancy, such as when Perelman delicately skirts the upper reaches of his saxophone during "Reverie." The flowing cascade of notes is temporarily sidelined for the fractured "Pursuance," which goes down a staggered path led by Berger that provides a springboard for a whole new set of ideas from Perelman. And though relatively brief at four minutes, Berger plays a series of descending figures punctuated by silence for the solemn "Contemplation," leaving space for Perelman to finish his soul-wringing expressions with greater impact.
On a longer piece such as "Placidity," there are enough distinct passages in them to form a whole disc's worth of distinct concepts. Minor key heavy, Perelman is bluesy without playing the blues, and later, Bergen takes a solo turn in a flowing, classical style. Even a melodic, rollicking figure briefly breaks out at some point, and the whole things with a playful, synchronized chase for notes.
With Reverie, Ivo Perelman kicks off his next twenty-five years leading dates as an artist who shows no signs of slowing down or running out of ideas. Whatever he does next - and you can be certain that it will be very soon - it will be fundamentally different in some way from what he's done before. And that is why that in spite of his uncommon productivity, each new release is worth the anticipation of a release by an accomplished artist who records sparingly."-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews
Get additional information at Something Else!
• Show Bio for Ivo Perelman
"Born in 1961 in São Paulo, Brazil, Perelman was a classical guitar prodigy who tried his hand at many other instruments - including cello, clarinet, and trombone - before gravitating to the tenor saxophone. His initial heroes were the cool jazz saxophonists Stan Getz and Paul Desmond. But although these artists' romantic bent still shapes Perelman's voluptuous improvisations, it would be hard to find their direct influence in the fiery, galvanic, iconoclastic solos that have become his trademark.
Moving to Boston in 1981, to attend Berklee College of Music, Perelman continued to focus on mainstream masters of the tenor sax, to the exclusion of such pioneering avant-gardists as Albert Ayler, Peter Brötzmann, and John Coltrane (all of whom would later be cited as precedents for Perelman's own work). He left Berklee after a year or so and moved to Los Angeles, where he studied with vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake, at whose monthly jam sessions Perelman discovered his penchant for post-structure improvisation: "I would go berserk, just playing my own thing," he has stated.
Emboldened by this approach, Perelman began to research the free-jazz saxists who had come before him. In the early 90s he moved to New York, a far more inviting environment for free-jazz experimentation, where he lives to this day. His discography comprises more than 50 recordings, with a dozen of them appearing since 2010, when he entered a remarkable period of artistic growth - and "intense creative frenzy," in his words. Many of these trace his rewarding long-term relationships with such other new-jazz visionaries as pianist Matthew Shipp, bassists William Parker, guitarist Joe Morris, and drummer Gerald Cleaver.
Critics have lauded Perelman's no-holds-barred saxophone style, calling him "one of the great colorists of the tenor sax" (Ed Hazell in the Boston Globe); "tremendously lyrical" (Gary Giddins); and "a leather-lunged monster with an expressive rasp, who can rage and spit in violence, yet still leave you feeling heartbroken" (The Wire). Since 2011, he has undertaken an immersive study in the natural trumpet, an instrument popular in the 17th century, before the invention of the valve system used in modern brass instruments; his goal is to achieve even greater control of the tenor saxophone's altissimo range (of which he is already the world's most accomplished practitioner).
Perelman is also a prolific and noted visual artist, whose paintings and sketches have been displayed in numerous exhibitions while earning a place in collections around the world."-Ivo Perelman Website (http://www.ivoperelman.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Karl Berger
"Karl Berger is a six time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll as a jazz soloist, recipient of numerous Composition Awards ( commissions by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, European Radio and Television: WDR, NDR, SWF, Radio France, Rai Italy. SWF-Prize 1994 ). Professor of Composition, Artist-in-Residence at universities, schools and festivals worldwide; PhD in Music Esthetics.
Karl Berger became noted for his innovative arrangements for recordings by Jeff Buckley ("Grace"), Natalie Merchant ("Ophelia"), Better Than Ezra, The Cardigans, Jonatha Brooke, Buckethead, Bootsie Collins, The Swans, Sly + Robbie, Angelique Kidjo a.o.; and for his collaborations with producers Bill Laswell, Alan Douglas ("Operazone"), Peter Collins, Andy Wallace, Craig Street, Alain Mallet, Malcolm Burn, Bob Marlett a.m.o. in Woodstock, NY. New York City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Paris, Rome.
He recorded and performed with Don Cherry, Lee Konitz, John McLaughlin, Gunther Schuller, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra, Dave Brubeck, Ingrid Sertso, Dave Holland, Ed Blackwell, Ray Anderson, Carlos Ward, Pharoah Sanders, Blood Ulmer, Hozan Yamamoto and many others at festivals and concerts in the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, India, Phillippines, Japan, Mexico, Brazil.
His recordings and arrangements appear on the Atlantic, Axiom, Black Saint, Blue Note, Capitol, CBS, Columbia Double Moon, Douglas Music, Elektra , EMI, Enja, Island, JVC, Knitting Factory, In&Out, MCA, Milestone, Polygram, Pye , RCA, SONY, Stockholm, Vogue a.o.
Founder and director of the Creative Music Foundation, Inc., dba The Creative Music Studio, a not-for-profit corporation, dedicated to the research of the power of music and sound and the elements common to all of the world's music forms; and to educational presentations through workshops, concerts, recordings, with a growing network of artists and CMS members worldwide.Conducted CMS Residencies worldwide. In the 90s, Dr. Berger was Professor of Composition and Dean of Music Education at the Hochschule fuer Musik, Frankfurt / Germany. Chairman of the Music Department at UMass Dartmouth till 2006.Now re-establishing CMS programming in collaboration with producer Rob Saffer, directing the CMS Archive Project, recording and producing. Performing internationally with the Allstar Ensemble "In the Spirit of Don Cherry" and with numerous projects, collaborating with vocalist/poet Ingrid Sertso ( contact CreativeMusicAgency@gmail.com ). Recording a Trlogy of Piano Music for Tzadik Records. Collaborating with bassist Ken Filiano, vocalist Ingrid Sertso (KIK) + guitarist Kenny Wessel (KIKK). The Karl Berger Improvisers Orchestra, completed 75 performances in New York since the Spring of 2011 (see BLOG at www.karlberger.org). New collaboration in Europe with drummer Baby Sommer, bassist Antonio Borghini, guitarist Carsten Radtke, vocalist/poet Ingrid Sertso (DIFFERENT STANDARDS). Collaborating with cornetist Ken Knuffke, violinist Jason Hwang, saxophonists Ivo Perelman, Peter Apfelbaum, Mercedes Figueras, drummers Harvey Sorgen, Tani Tabbal, Warren Smith, Tyshawn Sorey. bassists Joe Fonda, Mark Helias, Max Johnson, William Parker, trumpeter Steven Bernstein and others for recordings and performances."-Karl Berger Website (http://www.karlberger.org/biography.html)
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