Tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman recorded prolifically through the 1990s, until his bracing and expressive style finally took its physical and emotional toll. Perelman has recently been channeling his creative energy into painting, and if his music hasn't been wholly subordinated to his visual art, it is on Introspection definitely playing a co-starring rather than sole lead role: each composition is linked to a painting reproduced in the CD booklet.
Perelman began his musical studies as a cellist, and previously explored the sonic similarities of saxophone and strings on Sieiro with cellist Thomas Ulrich, and The Alexander Suite with the CT String Quartet. On Introspection, Perelman mimics and converses with violinist Rosie Hertlein, focusing his tenor in its upper register and matching the violin with clipped phrases and drawn statements.
Bassist Dominic Duval, a frequent Perelman collaborator, uses his bow as much as his fingers here, and saxophone, violin and bass often perform chamber style, relegating drummer Newman Taylor Baker to clicking cymbals or spiraling brush work. Only on "Extended Consciousness do Perelman, Duval and Baker generate a rhythm hinting at Perelman's Brazilian origins and inspiring some of his familiar overblowing.
It's just Perelman's tenor and Duval's bass on Soul Calling, a session that captures the duo live in the studio. The three longest tracks run the gamut of Perelman's sonic repertoire, from squeaky squawks that mingle with Duval's scraping bow, to bluesy middle range bellows that interlock with plucky bass and only arrive at melodies after several minutes of free improvisation.
The musicians experiment a bit with distortion: on one track Duval is amplified into the red, and uses pedals to echo across the soundscape. On another Perelman moans through his mouthpiece, sounding like a wounded hood in a Tarantino movie.
Duval sits out in the middle of the album for two brief solo cuts that give you a taste of Perelman's harmonic sense, pace and natural spontaneity. But it's on the longer passages featuring both players, that conversation, dialogue and close listening indicate where Perelman and Duval's special talents really reside.
Tracks and Personnel
Tracks: Introspection; Karmic Forces; Divine Awareness; Extended Consciousness; Spiritual Destiny; Self-Forgiveness; All Power Emanates From One Source; Angel Of Forgetfulness; Faith.
Personnel: Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Rosie Hertlein: violin, voice; Dominic Duval: bass; Newman Taylor Baker: drums.
Personnel: Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Dominic Duval: bass.
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