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Ivo Perelman/Barry Guy/Ramon Lopez - Interaction (Ideji)

31 January 2024

Prolific saxophonist Ivo Perelman unveils his next project on Interaction: a trio of himself, bassist Barry Guy, and drummer Ramon Lopez. Recorded in Paris in 2017, the record follows Perelman’s usual MO: gather his pals in the studio and record whatever happens. Interestingly, the album features some of Perelman’s most accessible music of late. Make no mistake, though: this is free jazz, with the usual elastic, ever-evolving arrangements, off-the-cuff reactions, and sublimated (but not decimated) swing. Not easy listening, this. But the twenty-nine numbered-but-untitled tracks fit within the boundaries of what one would expect free jazz to be, fitting easily alongside such classics as John Coltrane’s Interstellar Space or anything on the TAO Forms label. That’s not a bad thing – working within a loose structure allows the musicians to express themselves with more focus, bouncing off each other with transcendent spontaneity. Tracks like “12” include some of Perelman’s most soulful playing, and “17” rides a distinctive groove due to Lopez switching from the kit to the tabla. The collective itself sounds like each member is having a blast – Perelman even laughs through is instrument on “18” – which makes Interaction one of the most effortlessly enjoyable free jazz records in recent memory.