Ivo Perelman: Black on White

Duval and Krall show up again on tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman’s Black on White (Clean Feed)-an appropriately named CD, given that I’ve come to think of Perelman as my personal bete noire. I’m kidding. Yet it seems that every time I turn around, I’m reviewing another one of his albums-not always a pleasant task. Enduring Perelman’s reed-biting shenanigans can be a chore, yet I found myself actually enjoying much of this CD. First off, the recording is warm enough to take the shrill edge off Perelman’s tone. Second, Duval and Krall’s structurally amorphous, supercharged backing is ideal for Perelman’s gestural style. Finally, while the saxophonist still overindulges, his voyages to the Planet of the Ultrasqueaks seem less prolonged than usual. For my money he’s a more interesting player when he stays toward the middle of the horn and improvises melodically, as on “Arela”-a beautiful rubato ballad that presents him in a very attractive light.