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Ivo Perelman: Fruition

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Ivo Perelman: Fruition
To say that saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp have seamless synergy is an understatement. After a dozen and a half improvised duet albums the two men form a single creative entity, one that is multifaceted, dynamic and crackles with spontaneity. Fruition, their eighteenth, is a stimulating set of eleven interlinked tracks which has a melancholic undercurrent and a fluid poetry.

Opening with a bluesy tenor break, "Nine," which also starts off the recording, transforms into an exquisitely polyphonic tune. Shipp's block chords and crystalline tones both echo and respond to Perelman's wistful and muscular phrases. Midway, the exchange grows passionate and fiery before returning to the contemplative mood which permeates the performance.

"Three" is equally introspective, with Shipp adding a dark hue with his resonant cascading keys to Perelman's forlorn lines. The overlapping and complementary streams of consciousness create a dramatic ambience and a mesmerizing conversation. The dialogue, however, is more akin to a chorus of voices than a traditional give and take. Neither musician is echoing the other, both individual expressions are deeply personal yet they remain in harmony. This is because they not only build on each other's ideas but also anticipate one another's notes.

Despite the delightful dissonance of these extemporizations there is a pervasive lyricism which gives them their bittersweet sound. "Fourteen," an eloquent piece, unfurls with the singsong rhythm of a pensive verse. Shipp's warm pianism, punctuated with silent pauses, and Perelman's sinewy saxophone, intersperse and weave out a modernistic tone poem filled with brilliance and warmth.

"Eleven" is angular and fast-paced. Perelman and Shipp both use modulating refrains to built their symbiotic improvisations. The haunting music with its repeating motifs is poignant and moving and a refreshingly vibrant and thoughtful conclusion to this consistently exciting work.

When an artistic career is uniformly superb, as is the case with both Perelman and Shipp, it is extremely difficult to single out superior moments. Perelman calls Fruition "our best effort so far" and he may be right. This is not because the seventeen previous releases were not of equal quality but simply because the pair's collaboration has matured and evolved culminating, for now, in this gem of a record.

Track Listing

Nine; Thirteen; One; Seven; Fourteen; Two; Six; Three; Four; Ten; Eleven.

Personnel

Ivo Perelman
saxophone, tenor

Album information

Title: Fruition | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: ESP Disk


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