Referencing the color "blue" rather than the blues themselves, the duo of New York tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and Joe Morris on acoustic guitar present free improvisations balancing technical and melodic musings, an intimate and thoughtful album of concentrative playing.
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Catalog ID: LEO 734
Squidco Product Code: 22160
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at Parkwest Studios, Brooklyn, New York in March 2016, by Jim Clouse.
Ivo Perelman-tenor saxophone
Joe Morris-acoustic guitar
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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 Joe Morris
"Joe Morris was born in New Haven, Connecticut on September 13, 1955. At the age of 12 he took lessons on the trumpet for one year. He started on guitar in 1969 at the age of 14. He played his first professional gig later that year. With the exception of a few lessons he is self-taught. The influence of Jimi Hendrix and other guitarists of that period led him to concentrate on learning to play the blues. Soon thereafter his sister gave him a copy of John Coltrane's OM, which inspired him to learn about Jazz and New Music. From age 15 to 17 he attended The Unschool, a student-run alternative high school near the campus of Yale University in downtown New Haven. Taking advantage of the open learning style of the school he spent most of his time day and night playing music with other students, listening to ethnic folk, blues, jazz, and classical music on record at the public library and attending the various concerts and recitals on the Yale campus. He worked to establish his own voice on guitar in a free jazz context from the age of 17. Drawing on the influence of Coltrane, Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor,Thelonius Monk, Ornette Coleman as well as the AACM, BAG, and the many European improvisers of the '70s. Later he would draw influence from traditional West African string music, Messian, Ives, Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Lyons, Steve McCall and Fred Hopkins. After high school he performed in rock bands, rehearsed in jazz bands and played totally improvised music with friends until 1975 when he moved to Boston.
Between 1975 and 1978 he was active on the Boston creative music scene as a soloist as well as in various groups from duos to large ensembles. He composed music for his first trio in 1977. In 1980 he traveled to Europe where he performed in Belgium and Holland. When he returned to Boston he helped to organize the Boston Improvisers Group (BIG) with other musicians. Over the next few years through various configurations BIG produced two festivals and many concerts. In 1981 he formed his own record company, Riti, and recorded his first LpWraparound with a trio featuring Sebastian Steinberg on bass and Laurence Cook on drums. Riti records released four more LPs and CDs before 1991. Also in 1981 he began what would be a six year collaboration with the multi-instrumentalist Lowell Davidson, performing with him in a trio and a duo. During the next few years in Boston he performed in groups which featured among others; Billy Bang, Andrew Cyrille, Peter Kowald, Joe McPhee, Malcolm Goldstein, Samm Bennett, Lawrence "Butch" Morris and Thurman Barker. Between 1987 and 1989 he lived in New York City where he performed at the Shuttle Theater, Club Chandelier, Visiones, Inroads, Greenwich House, etc. as well as performing with his trio at the first festival Tea and Comprovisation held at the Knitting Factory.
In 1989 he returned to Boston. Between 1989 and 1993 he performed and recorded with his electric trio Sweatshop and electric quartet Racket Club. In 1994 he became the first guitarist to lead his own session in the twenty year history of Black Saint/Soulnote Records with the trio recording Symbolic Gesture. Since 1994 he has recorded for the labels ECM, Hat Hut, Leo, Incus, Okka Disc, Homestead, About Time, Knitting Factory Works, No More Records, AUM Fidelity and OmniTone and Avant. He has toured throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe as a solo and as a leader of a trio and a quartet. Since 1993 he has recorded and/or performed with among others; Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Joe and Mat Maneri, Rob Brown, Raphe Malik, Ivo Pearlman, Borah Bergman, Andrea Parkins, Whit Dickey, Ken Vandermark, DKV Trio, Karen Borca, Eugene Chadborne, Susie Ibarra, Hession/Wilkinson/Fell, Roy Campbell Jr., John Butcher, Aaly Trio, Hamid Drake, Fully Celebrated Orchestra and others.
He began playing acoustic bass in 2000 and has since performed with cellist Daniel Levin, Whit Dickey and recorded with pianist Steve Lantner.
He has lectured and conducted workshops trroughout the US and Europe. He is a former member of the faculty of Tufts University Extension College and is currently on the faculty at New England Conservatory in the jazz and improvisation department. He was nominated as Best Guitarist of the year 1998 and 2002 at the New York Jazz Awards."-Joe Morris Website (http://www.joe-morris.com/biography.html)
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1. Blue 6:12
2. Turtle Dance 4:34
3. Almost Blue 8:21
4. Bluebird 1:08
5. Instant 0:57
6. Wee Hours 8:27
7. Blue Lester 4:04
8. Tight Rope 6:34
9. Crossword 3:55
sample the album:
"Ivo says that it is not exactly a blues record. You won't hear any blues cliches or chord progressions. "It is a blue record because it has the feeling of the colour blue; the whole album is very intimate, and it has that blue feeling throughout. Much of the time it's a kind of introspection." Joe Morrris is known first and foremost as a bass player but BLUE is the first album Perelman has ever recorded in the format of a saxophone/guitar duo."-Leo
"Serial Music is integrative, in the sense that it deals with differences in such a way that the individual characters are maintained while at the same time a unity is achieved. The defining difference of serial from thematic music derives from the relationship of the elements: in thematic music, the elements do battle; here, they are elements in a continuum." (Grant, M.J. (2001) Serial Music, Serial Aesthetics, Cambridge: CUP, p.164)
"First and foremost the music on this album may have been influenced by Serialism, in the way that the works of Webern also influenced Derek Bailey, but the music itself is not Serialist. The strict system, which that implies, needs rigorous planning and a disciplined but creative compositional strategy, with the very essence of this being at odds with an improvisational approach. In this way, it is not the actual system but the sound of the music that has sparked Ivo Perelman's creativity as an improvising musician.
This album is about the colour Blue in all it's connotations and meanings, it's certainly not the 'Blues' in a structural sense (although there are melodic passages which hint at these stylistic traits) and as Perelman is also a very accomplished painter it seems that the blueness of the music is more fixed on the visual idea, whilst seeping over into more emotional responses. I very much like Perelman's visual art and the winding contrapuntal lines of the music seem to be an audible manifestation of his more drip-like Jackson Pollock inspired pieces. As an album of improvised duets between tenor saxophone (Ivo Perelman) and acoustic guitar (Joe Morris), this is the first time that Perelman has recorded with just these two instruments in an intimate setting, and one that he also had reservations about with regard to the viability of the project. However, he needn't have worried and the music on the album is a triumph, once listened to carefully and with respect for what the musicians are trying to achieve.
The title track starts the album and Perelman's sax, with Aylerish-vibrato at times, carries the foreground melody whilst Morris' guitar provides accompaniment mainly through freely atonal chordal voicing's with interspersed linking single lines. This piece sets the overall tone for the album, which the rest of the music carefully continues with great consistency, such is its serial aesthetic. The second piece 'Turtle Dance' reminds me of some of Perelman's 'taking a line for a walk' type paintings with the two complex lines of the sax and guitar criss-crossing over each other. This constructs a complex texture that appears more of a musical object, that we get to view at different angles, as opposed to a piece with an obvious structure that we follow on a journey through time. This is even more apparent on the shorter pieces such as 'Bluebird' and 'Instant' that come in at around the minute mark with their splashes of colour that also seem to have a clear parallel in the visual art of Perelman.
Out of the nine pieces that make up Blue one of my favourites is 'Wee Hours' a track that starts with a husky melody on the sax with a guitar accompaniment that is almost playing a blues turnaround. The piece gradually and consistently develops with the simple lines becoming increasingly more complex before a bluesy melodic line marks the end of the sax's input, with Morris' guitar coming to the fore for a timbral and structural contrast before Perelman's re-entry to bring the piece to a close. More 'bluesy' fragments are also on view (so to speak) in the piece 'Almost Blue' which is similar in it's overall form to 'Wee Hours', also having the feel of an abstracted ballad and containing this feeling in it's essence.
The nature of the instrumentation naturally gives the album an overall introspective and intimate feel and there is clearly a link between Perelman's thoughts as a painter as well as an improviser. As an inward-looking album, Blue doesn't necessarily come out and grab you and it may take a while to tune-in to the dynamics of the pieces. However, the playing is subtle, complex and heartfelt, whilst the title sways your listening bias to hear passages that seem to have developed out of the Blues, of which there are clear moments. Blue is a consistent set of complex musical interactions with unique forms having been influenced by a Serial aesthetic."-Chris Haines, Free Jazz Blog
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