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Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp: “Fruition” (Album review by Nicolette L.)

Balladic, smoky, and tender, this series of duets by two greats of the modern avant-garde jazz scene feels more reminiscent of 70’s European free improvisation than one might initially expect. Perelman leads on most of the tracks here, playing lines that despite their fractured syntax maintain a linear, legato-bound cohesion that push and pull like pond waves at low tide. Shipp responds with befittingly deceptive simplicity, through short clusters of notes that reach their dynamic climax just as quickly as they enter, at times briefly matching Perelman’s playing like on “Seven” before soon sputtering off into atonal comping that simmers ever-so-slightly under the surface. On “Two” Shipp commits to laying a groundwork of sustain-pedal low tones while Perelman cries out with long, pained vibratos. Even when Perelman does get louder like on “Three”, it is only for a short moments, and when staccato patterns guide the playing(“Ten”), the emphasis is not on the percussiveness of the attacks of the notes, but instead the fleetingness of the melodic lines. Though perhaps not as immediately exciting as one might go in anticipating of such a collaboration, “Fruition” offers a series of meditative conversations between two players who clearly see the value in implication and restraint.

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