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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.

Perelman, Ivo / Mat Maneri / Tanya Kalmanovitch
Villa Lobos Suite

Perelman, Ivo / Mat Maneri / Tanya Kalmanovitch: Villa Lobos Suite (Leo)

Label: Leo    
Released in: Great Britain    

"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 adding one talented woman to the two men for this latest walk."-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews

"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 (

See all items in the Leo Records category

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
Leo Records
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
Stringed Instruments

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Price: $15.45
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 4.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 5024792074228

Label: Leo
Catalog ID: LEO 742
Squidco Product Code: 21397

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


Ivo Perelman-tenor saxophone

Mat Maneri-viola

Tanya Kalmanovitch-viola

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Track Listing:

1. 7:22 7:22

2. 2:57 2:57

3. 3:46 3:46

4. 4:20 4:20

5. 4:56 4:56

6. 5:29 5:29

7. 6:12 6:12

8. 5:00 5:00

9. 4:14 4:14

10. 5:16 5:16