The Art of The Improv Trio Volume 4. Gerald Cleaver, William Parker, and Ivo Perelman.
Mr Perelman must have had three espressos before this set, because he is out in front, right out of the gate. After a few failed attempts to connect with Perelman, Cleaver and Parker establish a dialogue between themselves and carry on. Perelman eventually realizes he’s not in sync with the rest of the trio, and tries to connect with what Parker and Cleaver are doing, but never finds a way in. I found myself wishing I could turn off Perelman’s Sax and just listen to the Bass and Drums as a duo.
Interesting how Mr Perelman tailors his Tenor playing to his partners. In this case he is matching Maneri’s cello with a formidable display of his glissando technique and upper register playing. Very different from Volume One.
Music with its roots in the Jazz tradition is always moving forward, always incorporating new influences. Mr Lewis’ group brings a rap inflenced groove to the music formerly known as Jazz. While I enjoy individual tracks on this album, listening to the whole thing at once, it gets a little “samey”. Mr Lewis’ emulates the rhythmic cadences of a rapper with his Sax, but without lyrical variation, it ends up a bit like finding the backing tracks from a great lost rap album.
It was Pharoah Sanders Soprano Sax playing that initially grabbed my ears on and pulled me in to this recording, but listening closer, the real hero of the session is Cecil McBee on Bass. His solid playing is the root which allows the flowers of Alice’s harp and the brambles of Pharoah’s Soprano to flourish.
Romantic classically inspired Jazz, I guess you would call this. But, Romantic, as in Chopin, Scumann, Liszt, Tchaikovsky; not Romance, as in “Without Finance”. Though, I’m sure playing this music isn’t particularly remunerative, as they do a fair bit of “egg scrambling”.
Rebecca Foon’s second album as Saltland for Constellation Records, featuring Australian Violinist Warren Ellis on a number of tracks, is a Dream/Drone masterwork. Lovely. Hat-tip to the wonderful Michele K-Tel for bringing this one home.