Friday, September 13, 2013

Ivo Perelman on Leo Records part 3 - "Serendipity" and "The Passion Accoding to G.H"

The follow-up to the few posts on the blog including the "Ivo Perelman on Leo Records part 1" and this week "part 2". No other parts are scheduled to be posted at the moment, but given how prolific an artist Ivo Perelman is, it's safe to assume more will appear.

Ivo Perelman - tenor sax
Matthew Shipp - piano
William Parker - bass
Gerald Cleaver - drums

Leo Records 2013

The recording session was scheduled as a trio date with Ivo, Matt and Gerald (eventually recorded a week later and released as "The Foreign Legion"), William Parker was called at the last moment to fill a spot in the recording studio. It turned out the missing musician made is as well, hence a quartet recording and hence the title "Serendipity".

"Serendipity" is a full-immersion, long-form group improvisation performed by four masters of a genre. There's no tip-topping in here, it's all real deal. There's depth and reach and panache. Everything is spontaneous yet nothing is casual. Perelman's ferocious, colossal sax, Shipp's tormentous piano and unstoppable Parker-  Cleaver rhythm section weave together a dense, bursting narration and carefully dosing the tension and release. Perelman might pierce your ear with high-octane thrills but will calm your sense with a soulfull tone afterwards and get you energized with a funky twist later on. The moods, tempos and texture of the music change throughout but its quality remains consistently excellent.

The Passion According to G.H.
Ivo Perelman with Sirius Quartet
Ivo Perelman - tenor sax
Sirius Quartet:
Gregor Huebner - violin
Fung Chern Hwei - violin
Ron Lawrence - viola
Jeremy Harman - cello

Leo Records 2012

The Passion is the odd element of the series as it doesn't feature any of the musicians present on the other recordings. Moreover it completely changes the instrumental context - string quartet takes the place of the piano, bass and drums. The methodology though remains intact - the music presented on the cd is completely improvised, sprung to existence  in the spontanous act of creativity.

Perelman's tenor, surrounded by the strings, sounds more delicate and soulfull and there are passages of almost lyrical peacefulness (like a hearbreaking ballad introduction to the part 4 of the suite). The music though keeps you constantly on your toes as the lyrical melody surrounded by spare strings staccato can soon transform into dense sonic attack in the upper registers of all the five instruments. The balance between harmony and dissonance, as the musicians follow each other, creates a natural flow of the music through the six parts of the cd.
The level of synchronicity between the musicians is quite astonishing as it seems unthinkable that none of this music was precomposed. Some true (al)chemistry is happenings between Ivo Perelman and Sirius Quartet. "Passion Accordint to G.H." is a fulfilling and very unique listening experience, and a must to any lovers of violin and string quartets out there.

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