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Ivo Perelman / Chad Fowler / Reggie Workman / Andrew Cyrille: Embracing the Unknown


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Ivo Perelman / Chad Fowler / Reggie Workman / Andrew Cyrille: Embracing the Unknown
Let's explore the title of saxophonist Ivo Perelman's latest release, Embracing the Unknown. His quartet with fellow saxophonist Chad Fowler, plus jazz legends Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille embrace, or welcome, adopt, and maybe better stated, champion the unknown. This exercise in instant composing guides listeners through the mysterious, the new, the novel, the undiscovered, i.e. the unknown. But then again, doesn't every Ivo Perelman recording embrace the unknown?

With his one hundred plus (and counting) discography, the answer is undoubtedly yes, but this effort Embracing the Unknown is the embodiment of that ideal. For that, we can credit the rhythm section of Workman and Cyrille. The pair have been working together since the 1960s, from the Jazz Composers Orchestra to each other's quartets and their Trio 3 with Oliver Lake. Perelman recorded with Cyrille on two prior occasions, the Children Of Ibeji (Enja, 1992) and Dione (Leo Records, 2017) with Matthew Shipp.

The Workman/Cyrille factor modulates the bulk of his recording. The drummer favors small gestures like bells, metallic objects, and cerebral, even meditative drumming. This, along with Workman's bass explorations set the mood throughout. The hushed sounds of the 21-minute opener remain tethered even as the intensity ramps up. Perelman and Fowler are attentive to Workman and Cyrille's lead throughout. With that in mind, this might be the most lyrical Perelman recording in years. The sad beauty of "Self-Reflection" opens with a duet between the two saxophonists before Workman enters with the gentlest pizzicato attack and Cyrille's light tom-tom accents. Then there is the blues inflection of "Introspection" which incites the saxophonists to constantly intertwine their horns, knotting their sounds into a glorious mishmash. The instruction to listen to an audio recording might be a strange one, but hearing this quartet is believing in their magic.

Track Listing

Embracing the Unknown; Soul Searching; Self-Reflection; Introspection; Self-Analysis; Self- Fulfillment; Self-Contemplation.


Ivo Perelman
saxophone, tenor
Chad Fowler
Additional Instrumentation

Chad Fowler: stritch, saxello; Reggie Workman: percussion.

Album information

Title: Embracing the Unknown | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Mahakala Music



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