Ivo Perelman - Octagon (2017)

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Ivo Perelman - Octagon (2017)

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1 	Part 1 	3:25
2 	Part 2 	10:29
3 	Part 3 	8:27
4 	Part 4 	5:29
5 	Part 5 	1:39
6 	Part 6 	4:34
7 	Part 7 	12:38
8 	Part 8 	2:36

Bass – Brandon Lopez
Drums – Gerald Cleaver
Tenor Saxophone – Ivo Perelman
Trumpet – Nate Wooley


If music was sports, then Ivo Perelman would be baseball and most other musicians football. Where football's regular season is 16 games, baseball plays 162. Likewise, most musicians release one album every year or two, but Perelman has averaged seven titles per year for the last seven years. His 2017 Leo Records output is thirteen (fourteen, if you consider one release is a double live recording). Sure football fans, I mean casual jazz listeners, may scoff at the numbers. But like baseball aficionados who follow the daily box scores and know the batting stances of their favorite players, the jazz devotee (let's not say fanatic here) rejoices in the nuance of every new release by this prolific saxophonist.

As with baseball connoisseurs, the history of music and of a musician is essential to appreciate the current state of affairs. If you can rewind Perelman's career back to his birthplace in Brazil and his training in classical guitar, you get a sense that the music he creates today on tenor saxophone is a total immersion in freedom and creativity. A journey through the eighty recordings he made these past twenty-five years illustrates his progression from John Coltrane to Albert Ayler with a smattering of Brazilian folk music to his unique sound. Those familiar with his earliest work, like his recordings with William Parker and Rashied Ali, Sad Life (Leo Lab, 1997) and the out-of-print (and impossible to locate) Live (Zero In, 1997) experience his raw blowing talents. One could almost liken his playing to the energies of punk rock. Over the years he has refined his sound and created a personal language that is as vibrant as his early years, but much more ripened, ergo mature.

Octagon is a quartet record with drummer Gerald Cleaver and the young bassist Brandon Lopez from Wooley's latest Knknighgh (Minimal Poetry for Aram Saroyan) (Clean Feed, 2017). The trumpeter (and drums) are not heard until "Part 2." Maybe "Part 1" lays the out the street map for this session, with Perelman meshing with the percussive attack of Lopez' bass. When Wooley does step up, nearly three minutes into "Part 2," he harmonizes with the saxophonist's yowling tone. The quartet works through a vague off-kilter blues ramping the pulse before its denouement. The quartet plays a rough tug-of-war on the brief "Part 5" and chills into "Part 6," delivering an (almost) call-and-response performance. "Part 7" might be the fullest expression of this ensemble. Beginning with Wooley's trumpet suitcase of techniques open for display, the pulse accelerates into a hybrid avant/hard-bop dance number. ---Mark Corroto, allaboutjazz.com

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