Ivo Perelman – “Philosopher’s Stone” (Leo Records, 2017)

“Philosopher’s Stone” is a new avant-garde jazz album released this month by “Leo Records”. Album was recorded by Ivo Perelman (tenor sax), Matthew Shipp (piano) and Nate Wooley (trumpet). Three outstanding and experienced avant-garde jazz masters improvisations usually are full of different playing styles, manners, unique and strange instruments sounds, interesting musical decisions and expressions. Because of own and unique playing styles by each trio members compositions have a bright, vivacious and difficult musical language. Their compositions are based on avant-garde jazz elements and collective improvisations – various special effects, imitations of various sounds, free and creative musical experiments and inventive musical decisions are gently combined together with unique improvising by each member of the trio.

Album compositions have especially expressive and bright sound. Wild, energetic and active collective improvisations are full of different musical expressions, Africa ethnic music intonations and rhythms, dissonance harmony and various types of rhtyhmics. Each musician is improvising different from others, has its own and unique sound, playing manner and individual form and structure. Ivo Perelman tenor saxophone improvisations are very expressive, evocative and bright. It makes an effort to whole album – his inventive, energetic and creative combining of different playing techniques and musical expressions bring original and effective sound. His playing is very interesting, wild and dynamic – it’s also full of wild fast solos, powerful and extremely loud blow outs, sharp and aggressive tunes and weird timbres. Ivo Perelman melodies are heard very much in each composition and form a very solid and dtrong melodic basement. Pianist Matthew Shipp is another one great and interesting avant-garde jazz master. His piano solos are always very vivacious and emotional. Matthew Shipp playing in this album improvisations is very emotional, bright, evocative and passionate. Playful, joyful and memorable melodies are gently connected with melodic, lyric and soft episodes. The most part of his piano improvisations have a free form and structure, is full of wild fast solos, dynamic rhythmic and sharp harmony. Dissonance, aggressive and very sharp chords and pitches are formed in unusual and different ways – mostly it’s not formed of traditional harmony basics. Matthew Shipp playing in this album is very contrasting – rigorous, aggressive and sharp turns to very playful, joyful and lively, then – to dramatic and expressive. His playing style is formed of different jazz styles – it’s based on avant-garde jazz and various modern jazz styles elements synthesis. Nate Wooley trumpet masterfully fits together along with these wonderful jazz masters. Extravagante, interesting, wild fast, provocative and stunning Nate Wooley improvising also bring eovcative and inventive sound to this album. He also try out different extended playing techniques, musical expressions and other musical language elements. These three musicians collective improvisations are the most effective and interesting episodes of whole album. Different and independent improvisations are strongly contrasting with each other and masterfully fit together in one composition. Wild fast, expressive, especially sharp and rigorous trumpet and saxophones solos, emotional and passionate piano melodies, all kinds of different rhythmics and extended playing techniques are played silmunateously.. It makes a polyphonic and very interesting facture and form. This music pattern, form and structure are mostly formed spontaneously – all three musicians are playing free, lively, energetic and emotionally. They also are always experimenting in all ways of musical language and its basic elements. All these elements and masterful improvising get together very organic and inventive and create original and stunning sound.


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