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Perelman, Ivo / Matthew Shipp / Gerald Cleaver: The Art Of The Improv Trio Volume 3 (Leo Records)

The 3rd part of NY/Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman's "Art of the Improv Trio" series, with Matthew Shipp on piano and Gerald Cleaver on drums, each an essential element in the interplay and subtle skills of these masterful players, with Perelman's voice exceptionally strong as he demonstrates the full range of his sax through free and melodic passage.

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product information:

UPC: 5024792077328

Label: Leo Records
Catalog ID: LEOR773.2
Squidco Product Code: 24047

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


Ivo Perelman-tenor saxophone, alto saxophone

Matthew Shipp-piano

Gerald Cleaver-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"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 (

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"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 (

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"Gerald Cleaver (born May 4, 1963) is an African-American jazz drummer from Detroit, Michigan. Cleaver's father is drummer John Cleaver Jr., originally from Springfield, Ohio, and his mother was from Greenwood, Mississippi. Gerald had six older siblings. Cleaver joined the jazz faculty at the University of Michigan in 1995. He has performed or recorded with Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Roscoe Mitchell, Miroslav Vitous, Michael Formanek, Tomasz Sta ko, Franck Amsallem and others.

Under the name Veil of Names, Cleaver released an album called Adjust on the Fresh Sounds New Talent label in 2001. It featured Maneri, Ben Monder, Andrew Bishop, Craig Taborn and Reid Anderson and was a Best Debut Recording Nominee by the Jazz Journalists Association. Cleaver currently leads the groups Uncle June, Black Host, Violet Hour and NiMbNl as well as working as a sideman with many different artists."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Part 1. 6:06

2. Part 2. 7:06

3. Part 3. 5:08

4. Part 4. 6:22

5. Part 5. 4:55

6. Part 6. 4:12

7. Part 7. 3:49

8. Part 8. 4:21

9. Part 9. 6:31
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Perelman has made more contributions to saxophone technique than perhaps any other reed player since Roscoe Mitchell: he has mastered the tenor sax's altissimo range and found innovative ways to navigate it from within, as well as to access it from the other ranges of the horn. ... He has researched air flow and breath control, rebuilt embouchure and streamlined the demands of creating the extraordinary sounds at his disposal."-Neil Tesser

"Ivo Perelman, Matthew Shipp, Gerald Cleaver-at this point, the web of collaborations linking these three improvisers is almost too tangled to pull apart. Just for an idea: typing "Ivo Perelman" into Shipp's Discogs page calls up twenty results, the well received Callasand Corpoamong them. Fifteen results for "Gerald Cleaver," and twelve for Cleaver with Perelman. As a trio, we've heard them before on The Foreign Legion, plus in quartet with William Parker on Serendipity and with fellow drummer Whit Dickey on Enigma-all on Leo Records, the label that's been such a welcome home to Perelman since the late 'nineties (forty-eight results on Discogs!).

I'll admit, while we're in the midst of this recent sextuple release, that it's hard to keep up with Perelman's prolific output, not to mention Shipp's. Which is why it's so pleasing, when you do catch an album, to come across one as good as the third volume of The Art of the Improv Trio. That said, we do cover as many of the Brazilian saxophonist's releases as we can on the blog, and even as he continues to stretch boundaries, the common descriptors work fairly well here: there's a sense of mystery, soulfulness, and poetry to the improvisations. Perelman's playing is sublimely expressive, especially in his exploration of the altissimo register, where notes flit and then spill back down the tenor's range. His control over the instrument-in part what makes his albums, with their varied range of collaborators, so consistently strong-is in evidence on each of these nine tracks.

It's hard to discuss each musician's contribution individually, since throughout the album they're almost always playing at once. In this context, Shipp's playing demonstrates a kind of control in its relative restraint. More than anyone else, he takes responsibility for setting the mood of the improvisations, whether with dark, crashing chords that plume out like fog or with ostinati that help launch Perelman into the ether. On one track, he even sits out entirely. Cleaver, meanwhile, proves exactly why he deserves his recurring role on these albums. Here he straddles the line between timekeeping and open playing, sometimes implying a groove, sometimes cracking out backbeats. He can swing hard or patter around quietly. Fellow drummers will enjoy turning up the volume to appreciate the richness of his drum sound, especially in his two solo spots.

Anyone hesitant to commit to all six volumes of The Art of the Improv Trio or unsure where to make your approach-I encourage you to give Vol. 3 a try."-Eric McDowell, The Free Jazz Collective

Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
Leo Records
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