This is a fine album and matches every expectation that I had of it.

Fundacja Sluchaj Records (2CDs)

Ivo Perelman, tenor saxophone; Ray Anderson, trombone; Joe Morris, bass; Reggie Nicholson, drums

Recorded at Parkwest Studios, Brooklyn NY, USA on October 16, 2022

Throughout the four tracks on the two CDs, the other three musicians seem to concentrate on the individual nature of each track, bringing their own acuities to their interpretations of the music.

Meanwhile, Perelman plays along with each in turn and in their manner, as though to draw the best from them in their discernments. Perelman says he has been “experimenting with different ligatures, reeds, and mouthpieces” and that this had given him a new tone and great articulation.

The four tracks are protracted, free improvisations delivered by four exceptional improvisers whose music sounds like it was fashioned for them. They listen and hear: they understand when to be contingent on and when to support the work of their fellow artists, while Perelman provides the connections between them.

Warming Up opens the album with an acerbic, heated blast from Anderson, then he and Perelman fly around each other, briskly offering ideas to each other, the sax submitting incantations to which Anderson retorts with pithy exclamations.

There is, maybe, an improved smoothness in the tenor’s enunciation, or is it that the trombone’s aural proximity amplifies the relative coarseness of its voice?

It’s a fascinating album and the various routes towards improvisation which the musicians use are equally mesmerising. Aqua Regia opens with Joe Morris’s bass then, suddenly, each player is seeking his own way forward.

Each of their facets are tortuously aligned with the others’ so that an apparent state of flux seems inevitable. A brief aside from sax and bass heralds the return of all four to their interconnected pathway.

Molten Gold allows for some profoundly instinctive outings in this project – it has to, in order to provide differently for each of four illustrious musicians.

The two horns, for example, almost attack each other in their ardent exchanges, yet many of Anderson’s exclamations are a perfect balance to Perelman’s folk-like invocations, contributing to their mutually inevitable vitality.

Each track has its own charisma, associated by the perceptions of the musicians and the sense of Perelman to meld with the sounds, continually varying his intonation to suit the players with whom he is interrelating. This is a fine album and matches every expectation that I had of it.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham