Monday, December 26, 2022

Ivo Perelman & Joe Morris, Elliptic Time


It used to be a fairly common thing for the LP scene in Jazz for a label to group together its most popular Jazz players, those who place at the top of the various Jazz polls and call attention to them. So JJ Johnson's First Place, Cannonball Adderley with Wes Montgomery, Ray Brown, Victor Feldman and Louis Hayes dubbed "The Poll Winners." Or Shelly Manne, Barney Kessel and Ray Brown recording, also as "The Poll Winners." These days there is less of the sort of immediate calling out of commercial potentiality\in a particular gathering, yet of course there are groupings ro be had that feature instrumentalists who rate high on their instruments in terms of public acclamation. I do not always follow the poll results these days but it seems to me one might well note the "top of the standings" characterizations of some groupings these days, So I might venture to say is the case for the Free Jazz centrality of alto saxophonist Ivo Perelman and guitarist Joe Morris.

And happily the two gather as a duet in the recent album Elliptic Time (Mahakala Music). Now I do not suppose I will be venturing into new territory when I note how both players over the years have gradually honed their approach to free playing so that they are ever the original free voices at the top of those active today. One thing that marks them both and so then understandably makes sense out of how a gathering of the two works exceptionally well--that is that both spring into free territory with a strong assumption of the ins and outs of Jazz line weaving specifics translated into a more harmonically open and ever shifting bedrock of testifying, of expressing a noteful and a densely emotive giving forth.

All this transpires with brilliance in a series of five freely articulated segments, each thriving in consistenly underscoring a densely thick lineage that hearkens in its own way back to the essence of Bop possessed fervor that without fail gives us a thoroughly Jazz influenced improvisation, as opposed to something like Il Gruppo,where the improv used more the vocabulary of New Music and Avant Concertizing.

So there we are. Happily they do not just do this, they do it exceptionally well. Very recommended.

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