Even though Brazilian tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman is a renowned powerhouse amid his gusty and highly energized mode of attack, he's an expert when it comes to reconfiguring melodic content and refreshing previously stated themes on-the-fly. Nonetheless, the principal basis for his craft is ingrained within the art of improvisation as he usually works within small ensembles. Enigma finds the artist performing with longtime collaborators, pianist Matthew Shipp and drummers Whit Dickey and Gerald Cleaver. It has become discernible over the years that Perelman and his supporting team have established a synergistic line of communications.
The dual drumming attack perpetuates a poly-rhythmic presence as Shipp also performs dual roles, where he often contrasts and counterbalances Perelman's improvisational motifs, while also manning the lower registers to compensate for the lack of a bassist. Therefore, Shipp cunningly accentuates the bottom-end of the program and digs into the rhythmic element while serving as a strong foil for the saxophonist. With rippling lines, massive cadenzas, and the quartet's muscular output, they shift gears via swelling flows and harmonious integrations of variable metrics and thematic buildups.
Perelman sports a bluesy swagger on "Annunciation," and assumes a command and control presence, laced with darting notes and a calm before the storm viewpoint. Here, Shipp's block chord developments assist with sparking a rather portentous chain of events. In other segments, Perelman becomes introspective, yet on "Return To Nature," he executes alternating storylines with plaintive cries as Shipp insinuates a stepladder approach by meticulously elevating the intensity with linear progressions. They even incorporate some weighty rock grooves into the mix among other diversions, topped off by the drummers' poly-rhythmic solo spot after the bridge. Perelman responds with circular notes and basically mimics the preceding cadence. Ultimately, the band scrutinizes and fastidiously resolves the enigma as though it was a complex puzzle that only astute improvisers could unravel. Mission accomplished.
Track Listing: Enigma; Irresistible Incarnation; Annunciation; Supernatural Life;
Return To Nature; Ritual; Gentle As A Fawn; A Bourgois Ideal.
Personnel: Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Matthew Shipp: piano; Whit Dickey: drums;
Gerald Cleaver: drums.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.