Born: January 12, 1961 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
The natural affinity of music and visual art has rarely ever been expressed as vividly as in the visual imagery created by noted jazz saxophonist, Ivo Perelman. Born 12/01/1961 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he came to the United States in 1981 to pursue a musical career.
He has performed to great acclaim in jazz festivals and concerts around the world and has recorded 26 CDs. His music, a unique form of free jazz, translates itself into the striking Abstract Expressionism of his painted imagery. Just as his music evolves out of his liberation from musical convention, his imagery dispenses with traditional artistic conventions and expresses the raw energy which creates each painting. The intense flows and abrupt breaks of sound which emerge from his saxophone are reborn as zigzagging lines of color, splashed on canvas.
Some of his paintings are full of agitated energy, while others are more lyrical, creating a visual moment of near silence. Instead of working from a preconceived artistic idea, Perelman lets the flowing, skittering, dancing paint lead him on. Each painting is like a performance, a set of actions in time which can happen in that particular way only once, embodying the sound of his music through the stroke of the paint brush. The notes become vibrant colors and the rhythm transcends into shape. He passionately unravels the most vivid emotions, whether playing the saxophone or approaching the canvas. There are no limits or restraints as his method of expression relies not on planning but solely on the flow of feelings. His desire for painting stems from the depths of his soul with the ardent yearnings.
Although largely known for his playing of the tenor saxophone, Perelman also plays piano, clarinet, cello and recorder and is a trained classical guitar player. Perelman made an immediate impression with his 1989 debut Ivo, and his subsequent work has continued to justify his critical status as one of the most important and distinctive tenor saxophone voices of recent years. His vigorous performing style has brought comparisons with John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, David Murray and, perhaps inevitably, Gato Barbieri.
An air of invigorating fun surrounds some of Perelman's music, especially when working with Latin-tinged material. Elsewhere, his enthusiasm seems at times to overwhelm his surroundings and it takes equally dominant musicians to contain him and, as a result, raise the standards of performances to sometimes breathtaking heights. Perelman has worked with players including, Paul Bley, Don Pullen, Joanne Brackeen, Geri Allen, Matthew Shipp, Eliane Elias, Rashied Ali, Billy Hart, Andrew Cyrille, Jay Rosen, Ramon Lopez, Peter Erskine, Airto Moreira, Mino Cinelu, Flora Purim, Nana Vasconcelos, Reggie Workman, Dominic Duval, Paul Rodgers, John Patitucci, William Parker, Louis Sclavis and Elton Dean.