**9CD box** "Fast forward to the 21st century and the Brazilian-born New York resident Ivo Perelman's ouevre, an attestation of that pure expression. It's not that he started here. Perelman, early on, played guitar before he picked up a saxophone, and before his formal studies at the Berklee College of Music. Brazilian folk informed his early recordings. Then, inspired by Albert Ayler and late period John Coltrane, he took up the fire music of the 1960s. Like those two giants of free music, Perelman has stripped away the formal rules of music, jazz in general, and particularly free jazz. His music is pure sound. He draws from nature, birds, trees, plants, ocean creatures, and insects. Everything old is new again.
Recording in a duo setting with a pianist is to be expected with Perelman. If you think Perelman, the next thought is typically Matthew Shipp. Over more than two decades, the two have produced nearly fifty discs together, the majority as a duo. They are the proverbial brothers from different mothers. What happens then, when Perelman steps outside his circle to perform with different musicians? Lately he has done this with the likes of trumpeter Nate Wooley, bass clarinetist Jason Stein, oud musician Gordon Grdina, and rumor has it, upcoming recordings with David Murray, Roscoe Mitchell, Joe Lovano, and Tim Berne.
This nine CD boxset (and digital download) finds Perelman with nine different pianists. He is performing with eight for the first time. Although Marilyn Crispell was a member of the saxophonist quartet in the mid-1990s, this is an entire new landscape. What we know about a 21st century Perelman studio date is there are no written scores and nothing is discussed before the tape begins rolling. This exploration with Crispell and the remaining eight: Dave Burrell, Sylvie Courvoisier, Agusti Fernandez, Vijay Iyer, Aruán Ortiz, Aaron Parks, Angelica Sanchez, and Craig Taborn are a banquet of improvised sound.
Each pianist brings different flavors to the table and either responds to Perelman's horn or pushes him in new directions. For instance Crispell brings out a melodic lyrical side of the saxophonist with "Chapter One" of their nine track disc. But like her work in Anthony Braxton's quartet, she is also a toe-to- -toe slugger, matching energy, be it upper or lower register. Same for Fernández, who moves from the quietude of his opening solo into bouts of riotous cacophony. Perelman is more than willing to follow or lead. It is not really clear who lights the powder keg here. Happy inside his piano or out, Fernández and and Taborn might be closest comparisons to brother Matthew Shipp. Taborn is a percussive and emotional pianist whot can range from moody to mania. Perelman matches emotion, scaling upper registers and the depths of his horn. Aaron Park's approach comes to this date more from a conventional sound. Those new to Perelman's approach might best start here as there are markers and points of reference that are palatable to the uninitiated. Sylvie Courvoisier's date contains eleven tracks and might be best described as improvised chamber music. She gets Perelman to quiet the thousand and one ideas he routinely attempts to express and focus on just a few thoughts.
But wait, there's more. Angelica Sanchez and Perelman give us nine tracks that you might easily mistake for composed music. The pair join without contradiction, and the uncanny flow is a their improvised gift to listeners. Aruán Ortiz adopts a complementary style throughout the disc; pulsing tones and ringing notes act as a foundation for the saxophonist's flights. Perelman's travels through the different registers of his horn are a language few musicians speak as their primary language. His music is performed without a net, which makes him a perfect partner for both Vijay Iyer and Dave Burrell. The two pianists represent different generations of sonic explorers. Iyer's wanderlust at the keyboards is a perfect complement to Perelman's desire to push boundaries. If ideas were a traded commodity, this disc would be priceless. Although the box set opens with Dave Burrell, it is fitting to make him our last stop. Burrell wrote avant-garde history with the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Marion Brown, Archie Shepp, and David Murray. In the company of such jazz royalty, Perelman's approach to the two lengthy tracks is a respectful deference to Burrell's Thelonious Monk-like and Duke Ellington-esque dancing notes. The often cautious approach here by both musicians, where rhythm and song come together, might be the highlight of this box." - Mark Corroto
CD 1: Tale One with Dave Burrell
CD 2: Tale Two with Marilyn Crispell
CD 3: Tale Three with Aruán Ortiz
CD 4: Tale Four with Aaron Parks
CD 5: Tale Five with Sylvie Courvoisier
CD 6: Tale Six with Agustí Fernández
CD 7: Tale Seven with Craig Taborn
CD 8: Tale Eight with Angelica Sanchez
CD 9: Tale Nine with Vijay Iyer
All Music Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Jim Clouse at Parkwest Studios in Brooklyn NY
Liner Notes: Neil Tesser
Graphic Design: Semafor
Executive Producer: Maciej Karłowski