Ivo Perelman pays tribute to Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos through free improvisation, enlisting two violists--Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch-for a uniquely orchestrated set of recordings with Perelman emulating and complementing the strings in engaging ways.
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Catalog ID: LEO 742
Squidco Product Code: 21397
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Parkwest Studios, Brooklyn New York, in May 2015, by Jim Clouse.
Ivo Perelman-tenor saxophone
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"The notion of pairing a tenor saxophone with a viola makes sense to possibly no one but to Ivo Perelman. After all, the Brazilian-born improvisational sax ace had once studied the viola's close cousin the cello and it's evident in his sax playing that he regards the sax and stringed instruments as close to the same thing. So when he paired up last year with violist Mat Maneri, the son of sax great Joe Maneri, it was going to be simpatico. And that's just what the collection of improv pieces Two Men Walking ended up being. The encounter worked to perfection because, as I wrote then, "Perelman and Maneri didn't need to meet in the middle by necessity, they were already occupying the same space."
Perelman constantly seeks out new challenges, however, and his latest expands on the sax-viola idea in the literal sense: Villa Lobos Suite (now available through Leo Records) is a sax-viola-viola idea.
It came from Perelman's desire to exchange musical thoughts with a small string section. "What would be better than one viola?" he pondered, to which he reached the obvious answer: "Having two violas!" The second violist brought in for this latest experiment is someone regarded by Perelman as a "second" Mat Maneri, Canadian author and musician Tanya Kalmanovitch.
As for that title, Villa Lobos Suite: after completion of this record, Perelman realized that the music bore the influence of one of Perelman's heroes from childhood: the great Brazilian classical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Even though there is an obvious difference between the structured compositions of Villa-Lobos' work and the completely spontaneous sessions, the flow and the emotion of these sessions bear certain markings of classical music that's hard to ignore, especially since there is now a string section, not merely a string player.
Throughout these ten pieces Perelman as before turns his sax into another stringed instrument. His diction alternately mimics the legato gliding over the strings and the sharp scrapes against it. If you compare it against the methods he undertakes against other musical partners, it becomes ever clearer that he never plays in a vacuum and is either leading or following Maneri. And now, Kalmanovitch, too.
Having to interact with a second violist can double the complexity, but it's made to sound easier than it is because Maneri and Kalmanovitch first interact with each other so well, often functioning as a single unit. And without any forethought!
The ten tracks weren't issued any names but the second one features Kalmanovitch without Maneri, allowing us to assess the newcomer to the Perelman world of improv in isolation. She reveals herself to be a real intelligent performer, able to chart her course of a figure on the spot seemingly several moments in advance.
Ivo Perelman came up with a very logical way to follow up the successful Two Men Walking...by adding one talented woman to the two men for this latest walk."-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews
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• 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 Mat Maneri
"Mat Maneri was born in 1969, and started studying violin at age five. He studied privately with Julliard String Quartet founder Robert Koff, and with bass virutuoso Miroslav Vitous. Mat received a full scholarship as the principal violinist at Walnut Hill High School, but left school to pursue a professional career in music. By 1990, Mat founded the critically acclaimed Joe Maneri Quartet with Randy Peterson. Mat started releasing records as a leader in 1996, and has developed four working ensembles. Pianists Paul Bley, Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, and Borah Bergman have called upon Matt to perform with them in such venues as the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Library of Congress, and concert stages across Europe. Mat also enjoys a strong relationship with bassists Ed Schuller, Mark Dresser, William Parker, Michael Formanek, Barre Phillips, and John Lockwood. Never to be boxed in, Mat has also worked with Joe Morris, John Medeski, Tim Berne, Cecil McBee, T.K. Ramakrishnan, Franz Kogelman, Roy Campbell, Spring Heel Jack, Draze Hoops, and appears on an Illy B Eats remix CD. Mat presently teaches privately and through the New School / NYC, and performs and records worldwide."-Aum Fidelity (http://www.aumfidelity.com/maneri.html)
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