The Squid's Ear Magazine

Perelman, Ivo / Matthew Shipp: Fruition (ESP-Disk)

An intimate and succinct set of conversations between two long time collaborators and compatible New York improvisers--tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp--recording at Park West Studios for their 18th album as a duo, making innately lyrical and technically creative decisions in a nearly telepathically manner informed by vast experience.

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product information:

UPC: 825481507028

Label: ESP-Disk
Catalog ID: ESPDISK 5070CD
Squidco Product Code: 32451

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Park West Studios, in Brooklyn, New York, on June 25th, 2021, by Jim Clouse.


Ivo Perelman-tenor saxophone

Matthew Shipp-piano

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The eighteenth duo album by Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp.

"We believe it's our best effort so far," says Perelman. "Every rhythmic and melodic gesture [in 'Nine'] that tenor saxist and pianist feed each other in this remarkable duet is met with a musically and emotionally appropriate response from the other. And somehow or other, this entirely free jazz somehow coalesces and takes shape in a way that is absolutely perfect."

And, "each track in this remarkable album is a highlight in itself and different from every other track. These two artists have played and recorded together so often that they do indeed almost seem to read each other's mind, and at this stage the psychic communication is so complete that it almost sounds as if we, the listeners, are eavesdropping in on a very personal and intimate conversation." --Lynn Rene; Bayley

"The music flows naturally from their fruitful exchanges, informed by mutual listening, skill and imagination. In the span of four minutes, ideas and images follow one after the other, become distinct then disappear, the players' energies converging into a single stream which one flees from as the other diverts it in a new and unforeseen direction; the passage from the known, what they have played in the past, to the unknown, instant creation. They propose forms, cadences, timbres, harmonic clusters, spirals of breath stretched to screaming heights, heartening melodies, curious ostinatos, elliptical flights, chords constantly shifting as new elements appear, by accident or by enchantment, compelled by the pair's instincts as improvisers. [...] Neither player is a soloist or accompanist; in their weightless, whirling ballads, both share the arduous, integral role of dialogist. The ego fades into the collective dimension, as the music demands." J-M Van Schouwburg (translated from French)

"Here we go again, another fearless leap into the harmonic abyss by two of the world's premier improvisors.

Fruition (October 28, 2022, ESP-Disk) marks the 18th one-on-one meeting between Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp, a duo who seemingly can't quit each other because the well of inspiration has not yet found its bottom. As usual, the two invent melodies as they go along, never predictable but also never lacking in form or purpose.

The sax lead-off on "Nine" is a reminder that Perelman is as close stylistically to the tenor greats of the 40s and 50s as he is conceptually far from them. That simmering soul emanating from the bell of his horn goes down every path except the one most taken and Shipp's complementing piano elucidates that Shipp always seem to understand where is partner is headed.

"Thirteen" flows out like a faucet, where every motif they devise together serves as a windup for their next musical thought. The solemness of "One" doesn't hide the urgency, Perelman making every note meaningful and Shipp accompanies with flawless anticipation. The congruence between the two is insane; the tempo keeps changing on "Seven" but it's done in lockstep together.

Shipp's economy on "Fourteen" provides just enough cues which with Ivo Perelman is able to mold a fully-realized harmonic development. But Matthew Shipp is always changing his tactics. For "Two," he streams out descending and descending chords while his partner responds with harrowing moans and sometimes wails.

Like the painter that he is, Perelman paints tonal brushstrokes on "Three" that somehow coalesce into identifiable shapes, one after another, with the help of guideposts discreetly left behind by Shipp.

The melodic development on "Four" is so instinctual yet so logical, like it always existed and the two just plucked it out of the air. The staccato-driven "Ten" has a certain, child-like quality to it that's endearing. To conclude, "Eleven" has Perelman's signature humanity-in-a-horn sax articulation while exploiting the micro-tonality properties of his instrument.

Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp both thrive on finding different partners with which to exchange fresh ideas and new concepts from album to album. But they always return to this special duo, and they keep on amazing us with Fruition."-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews

Get additional information at Something Else!

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 (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"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 (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Nine 04:40

2. Thirteen 05:05

3. One 05:16

4. Seven 04:20

5. Fourteen 04:32

6. Two 05:05

7. Six 07:30

8. Three 07:22

9. Four 06:34

10. Ten 04:00

11. Eleven 04:49

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Duo Recordings
Piano & Keyboards
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
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