Tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp have both attested frequently to their remarkably close relationship, which has invited comparisons to John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner, Paul Desmond with Dave Brubeck, even Damon and Pythias. Perelman himself has referenced something beyond telepathy – a gestalt “third mind” arising from their collaborations – to explain the nature of their collaborations.
This musical union has grown significantly in the busy period since 2012, when they recorded their first co-led release, The Art of the Duet. In the intervening years they have now appeared together on more than 25 albums, including seven featuring just the two of them. Their monumental series The Art of Perelman-Shipp – which posited the duo as the center of a “planetary system” bringing other artists into its orbit – led Perelman to state “the gravity, the magnetic attraction, between Matthew and me is very strong. It is the core of everything.”
That bond was further strengthened in 2018 with the release of their three disc box entitled Oneness. So when Perelman and Shipp declared that this would be their valedictory effort – their last studio album in the foreseeable future – it came as a shock. (“For now, there’s nothing more to say,” Perelman explained at the time.)
Less of a shock? The fact that this moratorium didn’t hold. In fact, Efflorescence Volume 1 (available now on Leo Records) ups the ante with a four disc set from these musical soulmates (who have continued to perform in concert during their brief studio hiatus); and Volume 2, a similarly sized boxed set recorded around the same time, will arrive in late Fall.
The release of Efflorescence Vol. 1 marks two remarkable milestones in Perelman’s career. The four disc set pushes the number of discs Perelman has issued past the century mark; it also celebrates the 30th anniversary of his debut recording, released in 1989.
In June 2019, Perelman and Shipp undertook a multi-week tour that began in Europe and ended in São Paulo, Brazil, where two performances preceded the July 13 opening of a major gallery exhibition devoted to Perelman’s separate career as a visual artist. Perelman’s works hang in worldwide collections and have also served as cover art for dozens of his recordings; the majority of his paintings bristle with the same vivacious, kinetic expressionism that animate his music.