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På skive


«Garden of Jewels»

«Garden of Jewels» is an impressive statement by a trio of New York-based prolific, master improvisers – tenor sax player Ivo Perelman, pianist Matthew Shipp and drummer Whit Dickey, in June 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the globe. It was the first time that these prolific musicians entered the studio since the pandemic restrictions forced them indoors earlier this year, and these unique circumstances charged the session with a strong sense of vitality and urgency. This trio is comprised of long-term comrades. Perelman and Shipp recorded together in many formats and on countless occasions in the last decade. Shipp and Dickey played together in David S. Ware Quartet, but this trio recorded only twice together before, «The Clairvoyant and Butterfly Whispers» (Leo, 2012 and 2015).

The tense and stressful atmosphere outside the studio was translated immediately into a powerful, cathartic statement by this trio. The session was free-improvised with no discussion of what might transpire during the coming improvisations. Perelman, Shipp and Dickey simply counted on their deep camaraderie, the spontaneity of the meeting, and their kaleidoscopic versatility. «We’re like scientists dealing with sound,» Perelman said.  «Each recording is a means to check our development». The cover art reflects Perelman’s revived interest in jewelry-making, which Perelman initially took up twenty years ago and resumed shortly before the pandemic, and, accordingly,  all the pieces were titled after precious stones.

The tone of «Garden of Jewels» is contemplative yet passionate, surprisingly reserved and even elegant, even at its most intense moments, despite the sense of urgency that motivated this meeting. The tone is, obviously, openly emotional and melancholic at times, but affirms that the trio has decided to leave aside this time its indefatigable, raw and furious energy. The free-flowing, almost telepathic interplay radiates the deep listening atmosphere of this session and the great affinity of Perelman, Shipp and Dickey. The eight pieces sound as if this fearless trio struggles to find and offer a spiritual insight or a healing message to our dire times and to shed some bright light amidst the darkness of the present era.

Sublime, beautiful and inspiring.

Eyal Hareuveni

Ivo Perelman (ts), Matthew Shipp (p), Whit Dickey (dr)


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