Ivo Perelman once again displays his striking ability to make a tenor saxophone sound like a string instrument. There are moments on this disc when a single note issues from the upper register and for a moment it's not clear: is it Perelman? Or Tomas Ulrich's cello? Or even the astounding Dominic Duval on bass?
But more often it's perfectly clear, because Perelman is at full throttle, with all the tremendous power and emotional impact of his tenor. What's most noteworthy at those moments is how exceptionally well his full tenor sound is complemented by this trio of cello, bass, and drums. At the beginning of "Rush Hour" Perelman darts up to the heights and the strings imitate him. They're perfectly in sync. The string instruments give him a lot of room to roam, without getting in his way, but they underscore his effects whether he's raging flat-out or whispering mournfully. The call-and-response of "Santana" offers an opportunity to hear how marvelously compatible this quartet really is. Another great moment comes on "Arcos," as Perelman insinuates himself into the strings' conversation.
The opening track, "Sieiro," is one of the best on a great disc. Perelman's sound is simply a wonder: part Ayler, part Ornette, part Booker Ervin - all Perelman. His cry is heart-rending and his power enormous. He takes this track to the heights and back again into a statement of sweeping grandeur and wounded melodic beauty.
The disc closes with "Assimptotica," featuring Perelman on tenor trombivo, a trombone played with a saxophone mouthpiece. It's a crashing, pealing thing of some interest, but his tenor playing is so strong throughout this disc that it's a shame he put that instrument down even for a moment. Nonetheless, this is another great disc from the tenor man, who seems to get better every time out.
Ivo Perelman, ts, tenor trombivo; Tomas Ulrich, cel; Dominic Duval, b; Jay Rosen, d.
Track listing: Sieiro / Rush Hour / Santana / Arcos / The link / The Vermicello / Assimptotica.