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Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp/Whit Dickey/Gerald Cleaver: Enigma

Mark Corroto By

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Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp/Whit Dickey/Gerald Cleaver: Enigma With a half a dozen releases in both 2012 and 2013, one might fear that tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman may begin to repeat himself. To put it succinctly—not a chance.

Enigma features players very familiar to the saxophonist, yet in a completely new lineup. Invited here is pianist Matthew Shipp, Perelman's alter ego and two drummers, Whit Dickey and Gerald Cleaver. Both drummers have wielded sticks for Perelman and Shipp. Dickey is heard on the quartet session The Edge (Leo, 2013) and trio The Clairvoyant, and Cleaver with the quartets Serendipity (Leo, 2013) and The Hour Of The Star (Leo, 2011).

The two drummer lineup though, is not new. Ornette Coleman employed two drummers, as did John Coltrane adding {Rashied Ali}} to his band to supplement Elvin Jones. Today, both Joe Lovano and Dave Rempis feature a double drummer set up. With this quartet, it often sounds is if there are three percussionists. This is because Shipp's attack is often as percussive as the work of Dickey and Cleaver.

As a quartet, this band is quite compatible. They burn through the title track. Perelman's extreme runs coaxing and cajoling his partners to burn their stores of adrenaline, increasing the circulated blood, breathing, and metabolism. While they are up for the gambit, this isn't just a blowing session. Perelman offers gentle, almost minimalist sounds on the introverted "Return To Nature," some alluring melody with "Ritual," and some quick-step thoughts on the rapid-fire "Supernatural Life." Dickey and Cleaver never step on toes here. Their approach, whether in support or in duo, is to complement and complete the pieces.

The saxophonist chose to include one duo with the pianist here. "Annunciation" is a bridge to their disc The Art Of The Duet, Vol. 1 (Leo, 2013) as is "Return To Nature." Stripped of the drums, the pair maintain the same stark, unadorned communication.


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; Gerald Cleaver: drums; Whit Dickey: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Modern Jazz


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