Ivo Perelman, Matthew Shipp, Jeff Cosgrove – Live In Baltimore (2017)

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Earlier this month (October, 2017), Ivo Perelman put forth his latest barrage of releases, coming mere months after his last blast, which was a volume of seven discs centered around an Art of Perelman-Shipp theme. This go around is a ‘mere’ six albums, bringing the total of led dates by the Brazilian-born master sax improviser north of eighty albums.

This new series once again heavily involves Perelman’s piano soulmate Matthew Shipp, who appears on five of these CD’s and as before, Perelman mixes things up, making some of these recordings live in front of an audience and some conceived in a Brooklyn studio. Further, he partners with fellow cats he’s comfortable with (like Shipp, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver), while also stepping out of his comfort zone to try first-time collaborations with musicians with whom he’s had no real prior experience. Of these records, I’ve found the two outings with trumpeter Nate Wooley to produce the most sparks, as well as the live date Perelman cut with Shipp and the sensational drummer Jeff Cosgrove.

Live In Baltimore consists of a single fifty-one minute improvised piece, the entire second set of a concert performed by Perelman, Cosgrove and Shipp at the An Die Musik concert hall in Baltimore. It would be hard for anyone to tell a complete, compelling multi-chapter story while they are making it up on the spot yet Perelman regularly does this with a saxophone. Even though he’s made dozens of records that way, there’s always some new revelation around each turn within each instantaneous song. Part of the secret sauce is that Perelman lets everyone be themselves as they musically converse with each other. Listening to them individually reveals a different dimension to the performance than the one revealed when hearing them as a single unit.

Right from the start, Perelman and Shipp immediately lock into a procession that lies somewhere in the nether land between dissonance and consonance, soon plunging into a dramatic storm and easing back out into an uneasy calm. But in focusing on Cosgrove, I find that he not only anticipates these subtle change of directions, he’s made himself an equal partner by adding accents from anywhere and everywhere on his drum set, and his trademark agility is just what the doctor ordered to supplement Perelman’s and Shipp’s close interactions. Cosgrove also knows when to pull out and leave space for the other two to breathe, sometimes reaching for the brushes to add soft patters for the airier moments. Around the twenty-none minute mark, Cosgrove’s fine work is rewarded with a solo spotlight that stays wholly within the spirit of the vibe, free of clichés and full of nuance.

In short, Jeff Cosgrove doesn’t disrupt Perelman’s and Shipp’s simpatico; he enhances it.

Live In Baltimore is now available, from Leo Records. Also check out Octagon, Heptagon, Philosopher’s Stone, Scalene and Live In Brussels.


S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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