Friday, January 19, 2018
Ivo Perelman & Matthew Shipp – Live In Brussels (Leo, 2017) *****
By Martin Sekelsky
I remember the sunny spring day, traveling to Brussels to see Ivo Perelman (tenor saxophone) and Matthew Shipp (piano) perform in – much celebrated (here, here, here, here, here, and here) – duo format. Timely arrival secured me a spot at the bar to the side of the stage with first line view of the keys. The venue, an art-deco style bar and art gallery, was soon stacked to the brim with both enthusiastic familiar faces and curious individuals. The duo would perform two sets, we were in for a treat.
Perelman and Shipp took the stage as one voice. Both musicians radiated an enormous understanding of and feeling for each other. Shipp modulated between melodic and percussive phrases, instantly replied by Perelman. Vice versa, tenor saxophone added exuberant color or intimate feeling that were keyed in musical imagery. Both musicians initiated musical motifs and explored and extended each other’s phrases, forming a coherent whole of sound. It was so breathtaking, this listener could not move. Most remarkably, both musicians truly enjoyed conversing to each other in the language they have been practicing together for many years. The duo even got so carried away the first set extended beyond its planned duration, finishing with a big smile on their faces. Quoting Ivo Perelman: “He (read: Matthew Shipp) just kept on playing.” Both sets were loudly applauded by the audience. Applause that was answered with modesty by the artists. This was true musicianship, they made it look so easy. Highly recommended, so happy this performance was sharply documented and released. Pick this one up, if you haven’t already.
This listener admits that he has only recently unlocked Ivo Perelman’s rich discography. Ignorance turns into bliss with every new, unearthed gem. Therefore, no extended comparisons were possible with other outings by Perelman-Shipp ± others.
P.S.: Top 10 list was already submitted before this one could be included.
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