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Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: Complementary Colors

Mark Corroto By

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When a new batch of Ivo Perelman discs are released, yes he releases music from multiple groups on multiple discs, it is always wise to start with his duets with pianist Matthew Shipp. They've collaborated now for over twenty years, in duo, trio, quartet, and quintet settings. Their development of sound, each player's individual sound, has paralleled each other. Both players early works were distinguished by a torrid, blistering sound. One that struck a listener as if they intended to deliver the sum total of their musical thoughts into every session, maybe into every song.

Decades later, the pair dispatch music with a gained maturity that is ultimately more expressive. Complementary Colors follows their two-disc Callas (Leo, 2015) and The Art Of The Duet Volume One (Leo, 2013). Its theme of colors that complement, might just as well be musicians that complete each other's sentences.

The ten improvisations, to which Perelman conjured a title post-production, play off of colors first separate "Violet," "Yellow," then together "Violet And Yellow." The concept here employs the saxophonist's synesthesia, or his ability to hear colors. Maybe better explained, the saxophonist is also an accomplished painter, and he has the ability to create a visual work beyond just his sense of sight.

The pieces here, all instantly composed, travel sans set chords and tempos. The sound fits though, into a logic much like an impromptu conversation between old friends. Shipp's approach maintains an elegance that strives for grace. His fingers opt for a simple refinement of movement that complements the tenor of Perelman. Each piece nudges toward a free expression, but also nourishes a structure. The saxophonist is content to chase lovely miniature thoughts and carefully situate them alongside Shipp's notes. Just as he must lay down paint on canvas.

Track Listing: Violet; Yellow; Violet And Yellow; Blue; Red; Blue And Red; Green; Magenta; Green And Magenta; White.

Personnel: Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Matthew Shipp: piano.

Title: Complementary Colors | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Leo Records

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