Ivo Perelman – The Edge (2013)

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And so we reach the final piece of the Ivo Perelman/Matt Shipp trilogy of April, 2013. The Edge is where Perelman fronts Shipp’s widely renowned trio for the first time ever (though he has performed with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey on separate occasions). The rapport between Perelman and Shipp is the element of this record that carries over from the other new Perelman releases, but it’s the supreme tightness of Shipp’s rhythm section that ends up bring the key element of these sessions.

Bisio and Dickey merge to shape a singular rumbling, tumbling fold that serves as the pilot light that keeps the fire lit under the upfront guys. They lay the foundation on the busy “Lancaster,” and carefully shift it while Perelman and Shipp seems to be conversing in the same dialect, improvising together but never stepping on each other. The rhythm section also sets the pace so well for “Volcanic,” a song where Ivo is bursting with notes and not leaving much space. When he slows down and plays choppy, the ever-responsive Dickey does, too.

Perelman’s dialogues with Dickey are investigated directly on a couple of one-one encounters. The first one is the brief but wistful “Epigraph” and the Interstellar Space tour-de-force Fatal Thorns, in which Perelman is playing an inside-outside technique, often within the same breath. Bisio’s most prominent feature comes perhaps right at the beginning of the whole album, his caustic scraping of his bass strings kicking off the convulsive “Clarinblasen,” where Shipp’s fully-chorded, well-placed stabs call to mind McCoy Tyner’s abilities to keep John Coltrane’s free-spirited songs from careening out of control.

Perelman uses the occasion of The Edge to brandish his trumpet-like high altissimo range, which can be heard on the performances such as “Clarinblasen,” “The Edge” and “Volcanic.” At the same time, he is able to stay fully engaged with tradition as evidenced on the closing “Websterisms,” the title obviously referring to Ben Webster. Ivo’s deep, romantic tone closely emulates the tenor giant for this song in which he plays in a 50s style over 60s avant garde chord progressions and rhythms.

Perelman’s insatiable appetite for trying out different settings resulted in another trio of completely different explorative albums that are tied together by the musical bond formed by him and Matthew Shipp. It’s proven to be a pairing that’s opened up more new vistas the saxophonist, and his meeting with Shipp’s full trio is one of the most satisfying, because both leader and trio have leveraged each others strengths very effectively. Thus, The Edge is essential for fans of both Perelman and the Matthew Shipp Trio.

The Edge is due out April 3, by Leo Records.

Purchase The Edge here.

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