Ivo Perelman & Dominic Duval: Nowhere To Hide and Mind Games

John Sharpe By

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Ivo Perelman & Dominic Duval
Nowhere To Hide
Not Two

Ivo Perelman Trio
Mind Games
Leo Records

While Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman and bassist Dominic Duval might not pass as twins, they are clearly soulmates. Perelman first made waves over 20 years ago among a flush of free jazz saxophonists that included Charles Gayle and David S. Ware. Now with some 30 releases to his credit, Perelman's fluent impassioned post-Ayler tenor saxophone is a known quantity and it is the more subtle side to his artistry that is more likely to captivate. Duval was Cecil Taylor's bassist of choice for ten years and remains strongly associated with hornman Joe McPhee, not least as part of the acclaimed Trio X. Although both icons of the avant-garde they share a decidedly lyrical imagination that manifests itself in abundance during these two spontaneously improvised discs.

Aptly named, Nowhere to Hide exposes an enthralling, intimate 76-minute discourse where instrumental prowess is a given, leaving the focus upon a virtually unbroken conversation between two equals, by turns ruminative, whimsical, aggressive and poignant. What passes is abstract, in that there is no melody or explicit structure beyond that conjured by the pair in full spate. But there is nonetheless a tuneful undercurrent, all extemporization, except some 15 minutes into "Amizade" when a staccato passage coalesces into the strains of Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk," a favorite of both men. Familiarity breeds a preternatural level of responsiveness, from the opening title track where a Duval tremolo motif is echoed initially by Perelman, then tugged, stretched and distorted as a launching point for further exploration, right through to the closing moments of "Microforms," when the bassist repeats Perelman's statements back at him as the perfect rejoinder in a fugue-like conclusion.

With drummer Brian Willson (whose name is misspelled on the sleeve) added for Mind Games there is more bite and urgency and correspondingly less space for romantic expansiveness, particularly from Duval. Although eschewing composition, Perelman ensures variety through judicious use of the trio's resources across five cuts in just over an hour's playing time, peppering the three-way dialogue with impromptu solos and duos. His own hoarse multiphonic cries grab attention from the off, leavened by Willson's distinctive timbres, selected from a palette at times reminiscent of a Latin percussionist, showcased to best effect in introduction to the crowning summation of the lengthy "G.S. Farewell!." Elsewhere "Primal Defense" starts with breathy burnished saxophone soliloquy, like a paraphrase of some forgotten standard, before Perelman's bubbling effervescent lines hold sway over a playfully nuanced rhythm. "Grateful for Life" is all incantatory tenor and drums, betraying the leader's signature penchant for insistent rhythmic structure alongside the melodic invention.

Tracks and Personnel

Nowhere To Hide

Tracks: Nowhere To Hide; Timeless; Amizade; Eyes and Pearls; Groundwork; Polish Poles; Microforms.

Personnel: Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Dominic Duval: acoustic bass.

Mind Games

Tracks: Mind Games; Primal Defense; Musical Line; Grateful for Life; G.S. Farewell!.

Personnel: Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Dominic Duval: acoustic bass; Brian Willson: drums.

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