Ivo Perelman/Rosie Hertlein/Dominic Duval

Near to the Wild Heart
NotTwo MW 833-2

By Ken Waxman

As unlike the standard “with strings” session as can be imagined, Near to the Wild Heart is instead a fully interactive date where one trio member happens to be tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and the others violinist/vocalist Rosie Hertlein and bassist Dominic Duval. What’s more remarkable is the balance between the discordant and the sensitive maintained as the splintering of string harmonies is mated with newfound lyricism from the Brazilian-born saxophonist.

Usually numbered among the high-octane Aylerean reed screechers, Perelman today displays a modified lyricism. This means that mid-range trills and deep-toned vibratos define his solos as much as staccato reed bites or splintered glissandi. Over the course of eight instant compositions a common strategy is to harmonize his pressurized narrative with Hertlein’s sul tasto stops or sul ponticello sweeps. Duval maintains a cushioning ostinato with stretched string pops or booming thumps. Although there are points at which Duval walks convincingly and is answered by a crescendo of striated vamps from the saxophonist, this no more typifies conventional jazz than the fiddler’s bel canto vocalizing alongside her tremolo sweeps become so-called New music.

This originality is demonstrated conclusively on the third track when a voice-violin exhibition unleashes tongue-slapping altissimo blowing from the saxophonist, which is answered by the bassist’s thick pummeling strokes. As Perelman’s altissimo chirps and circling split tones search out novel variants, Hertlein’s screaming vocalese and spiccato string patterns blend into a connective texture both staccato and forte. Duval’s pensive bass pattern provides the impetus to move the three into a satisfying, contrapuntal mid-range finale.

Perelman’s extended a capella coda of stretched split tones and false register overblowing on “Part 6” demonstrate what he can do on his own. Yet the saxophonist, a talented painter as well as an improviser, confirms the enhanced creativity available in a group show with this CD, giving equal billing – and solo space – to Hertlein and Duval.

Tracks: Part 1 [14:10]; Part 2 [01:42]; Part 3 [10:48]; Part 4 [07:09]; Part 5 [09:07]; Part 6 [12:49]; Part 7 [02:17]; Part 8 [01:54]

Personnel: Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Rosie Hertlein: violin; Dominic Duval: bass

—For All About Jazz New York October 2010