Ivo Perelman's playing is a squall, a storm that suddenly kicks up and moves through your life. Maybe you saw this one coming, but when it hits you're still caught off guard. Like his painting that equally inspires and defines his music, Perelman plays action saxophone, following his instinct up and down the keys, dripping thinly precise lines of notes as if dropped off the end of a brush or splashing long, broad swaths as if hurled straight from the can.
This is not to say that his music lacks thought or direction. While characterized chiefly by a tangible passion, wailing emotion, and flashes of humor, fragments of folk melodies (most likely from Perelman's native Brazil) serve as handholds on the sheer face of the cliff. Arriving on the heels of last year's return to recording, the sprawling, two-disc, double-trio session Suite for Helen F. (Boxholder), Perelman's Black on White is, for him and his rhythm section, a relatively tame affair. Only the title track and "Cumplicidade last much beyond ten minutes and the latter, from its opening cadenza to the moment it splinters off into bluesy moans, is surprisingly, almost shockingly, lovely. The accompaniment of Dominic Duval's bass is well- considered and acute throughout, whether as arco work creaking like a rocking horse on an attic floor on "Srilhante, or as pizzicato dollops of liquidy sound placed at the conclusion of "Naked Seeds.
There's plenty of fire music on Black on White, where the amount of lung power is guided by the moment and tricks of the mouthpiece are conjured on a whim. On "Transparencia, Perelman whinnies; on "Naked Seeds, he meows. But on the gentle closer "Sentes Nuas, its Monkish origins determinedly leak through. When approaching Perelman's music, prepare for a storm. Here, he hands you an umbrella.
Black on White;
Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone;
Dominic Duval: bass;
Jackson Krall: drums.