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Back in the day, when a 12-inch LP was limited to about 20 minutes of music per side, an engineer would have had to carefully edit a recording such as the 45-minute long improvisation heard on Serendipity.
That certainly is an unacceptable proposition for the quartet assembled by tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman
and Cleaver. In December 2011, the same trio made Living Jelly (Leo Records, 2012), then Morris was replaced by Shipp for The Foreign legion (Leo Records, 2012).
For Serendipity, the liner notes point out, either Cleaver or Shipp was running late so bassist William Parker was gracious enough to fill in at the last minute. By the time the tapes rolled, everyone had arrived, and the trio had become a quartet.
The session has the brotherly love feel of a family get together. Cleaver and Perelman are engaged in a lockstep tussle throughout, with Shipp adding a running commentary. The drummer, a constant dynamo, is the spark that ignites the saxophonist's flights. With the two engaged, Shipp, our correspondent, chronicles the action, filling in lines and dancing notes between and around his partners.
Parker, who had played frequently with the saxophonist in the 1990s, acts as the patriarch here, keeping time and embracing the pulse. Occasionally he will walk his bass, encouraging Perelman (at 21:00) to deliver a bebop lick. The saxophonist is otherwise given free rein to open his sound, plowing furrows of John Coltrane