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Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: Bendito of Santa Cruz

Having seen Perelman’s name around I was pleased to get the chance to check him out, and have found him to be a rewarding purveyor of the post-Coltrane-Ayler tenor tradition. I must say, by way of clearing the air, that I’m at a loss to explain why he has impressed some quarters (G. Schuller for one) as forcefully as he has. Perelman is, on the evidence of these three releases, an excellent player, but to call him the most exciting new thing in years you have to have been sleeping in class when the modern tenor roll was called. Surely he would be embarrassed at the implication that he’s operating on a much higher ground than Dewey Redman’s best (I’ll refrain from listing another twenty names; Dewey’s case is so open-and-shut as to make the point without going further.)

So much for my reaction to this guy’s press; fortunately there’s real fire behind all the smoke. While not exactly breaking new ground (which may be impossible at this point) Perelman is a very convincing player.

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