Garden of Jewels


"A rather exquisite new communion between these three master improvisers. One of the most exhilarating qualities shared by great improvising musicians is the ability to bring one's immediate situation -- the joys, sorrows, fears and desires of the day -- into each unique performance. What made this most recent convening of the Ivo Perelman Trio so singular was the fact that not only were all three musicians -- prolific saxophonist Ivo Perelman, pianist Matthew Shipp, and drummer Whit Dickey -- immersed in the same present-day miasma, so was every potential listener, wherever they might be. Garden of Jewels was recorded in June 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the globe. On the day that these three longtime collaborators warily (albeit safely) entered the studio for the first time since the virus forced us indoors, the un-precedented circumstances provided the trio a profoundly urgent source of inspiration. At the same time, the country was in the midst of a series of turbulent protests that added an additional layer of vitality to the proceedings. While Garden of Jewels is only the second time that Perelman, Shipp and Dickey have recorded as a trio -- the first, Butterfly Whispers, was released in 2015 ? all three share a long and rich history. Shipp and Dickey, of course, worked together as integral members of the David S. Ware Quartet & in Shipp's own Trio, while the pianist and Perelman have spent the last decade creating one of the most well-documented partnerships in improvised music history. The trio entered the studio without having discussed what might transpire at the session -- the eight tracks that resulted provide vivid evidence of the band's deft spontaneity, kaleidoscopic versatility and deeply felt camaraderie. It's also the latest glimpse of the ongoing evolution of their collective identity. 'We're like scientists dealing with sound,' Perelman says. 'Each recording is a means to check our development.' 'There was a dark energy surrounding all of us, counterbalanced by the sheer power of creation. We had to become an antenna to capture the angst and anxiety of the times and transform it into art and catharsis. There was a social function to that music, not just for us but for anyone who might hear it one day. I left the studio with a new soul.' Featured on the inner panels of the digipak are luminous track-by-track poetic responses by a woman of strength and vision, Mia Hansford, who provided similar notes to Matthew Shipp's The Piano Equation, and will again on future Tao Forms releases."