Tenor sax player Ivo Perelman (who is also a painter and jewelry designer) and trumpeter Nate Wooley are two of the most prolific and open-eared free-improvisers at the New York scene. Perelman has released more than 100 albums in his over thirty-year musical career, four of them with Wooley. «Polarity» is their fifth encounter and the first one in a duo format, thanks to the new label, Burning Ambulance Music. It is also the first duo project of Perelman with a trumpeter. Wooley has a duo with Chicagoan reeds player Ken Vandermark. The album was recorded at Perelman’s favorite studio, Park West Studios in Brooklyn in February 2020.
The ten spontaneously improvised concise pieces offer intimate and profound conversations between fearless musicians. You can sense the immediate affinity and the mutual curiosity between these articulate and strong-minded improvisers. The interplay of Perelman and Wooley is totally democratic and both are driven by the free-associative process and mysterious logic of making music ןמ the moment.
The tone of «Polarity» is intense but at the same time reserved and introspective, reflecting Perelamn’s recent studies of operatic bel canto singing. The instant conversations are playful and passionate, and reflect an impressive deep listening to every sonic detail and nuance, even when Perelman and Wooley clearly push their boundaries as on «Five A» and the poetic «Six», or explore their emotional vulnerability as on «Two B». There are strong veins of urgency and restlessness in the playing of both Perelman and Wooley even on the most lyrical pieces like «Seven A» and «Three A». «Two A» even nods to the post-bop legacy of jazz.
Even though there is no mention of the coming Covid-19 lockdown, Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg writes in the liner notes that Perelman and Wooley «responded to an existential need to create beauty and surprise». Sometimes you don’t need more than good lungs and free imagination.
Ivo Perelman (ts, v) Nate Wooley (tp)