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Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman cannot be accused of being lethargic or laid back. His energy level may rival that of American saxophonist David S. Ware; however, Perelman’s uniqueness lies within his South American roots and later day Trane or Albert Ayler modernistic approach. On “Brazilian Watercolour”, Perelman utilizes ex-Coltrane drummer Rashied Ali and long time David S. Ware associate, pianist (and solo artist) Matthew Shipp along with gifted percussionist’s Cyro Baptiste and Guilherme Franco.
The title track “Brazilian Watercolour” is a well-known standard written by Ary Barroso yet Perelman’s interpretation goes way beyond standard samba or Brazilian national music. Along with Ali, Franco and Baptiste, Perelman whips this tune into submission with quick tempered, furious phrasing on top of the colorful rhythmic movements.
This CD comprises a series of duets with pianist Matthew Shipp while the other cuts feature Perelman along with the aforementioned rhythm section. On “Ascendant”, Perelman’s phrasing is very animated as he takes extra measures to design or emphasize extended note patterns while Shipp hovers within the lower registers of his piano and mainly comps behind Perelman’s gutsy tenor sax work. Marco & Paulo Sergio Valle’s “Summer Samba” features the rhythm section as this traditional Brazilian samba is deconstructed and reassembled through Perelman’s relentless plethora of ideas and themes. Here, Perelman is like a child who strategically takes apart his brand new Christmas toy in order to see what makes it work. Perelman’s composition “Pal Piteira” is another duet with pianist Matthew Shipp. On this piece, Shipp once again supports Perelman in the lower register by skillfully utilizing giant block chords and a pulsating left hand for rhythmic purposes. Perelman blows rapid -fire notes while frequently hitting the high register as if he were crying for help or trying to plead his case.
Ivo Perelman is a bona fide modern jazz stylist and in “Brazilian Watercolour”, he proves his case combining ethnic diversity with enterprising concepts which forms a near perfect union of dissimilar genres. ****