The folk music of Ivo Perelman's native Brazil has been an ongoing source of inspiration for the saxophonist, who once again turned his attention to Brazilian folk songs on Bendito of Santa Cruz. This CD found Perelman forming a duo with pianist Matthew Shipp, and the two are very much in sync on "Cana Fita," "Macumba," "Ze Do Vale" and other traditional folk songs of Brazil. Of course, Perelman's arrangements of the songs are far from traditional -- rarely, if ever, have they been brought into such a radical avant-garde jazz environment. Melody is a high priority on this session, and Perelman makes a point of stating recognizable melodies before venturing "outside" for some very intense and explosive improvising. The result is a rewarding CD that, although far from what was considered "mainstream jazz" in 1996, is easier to absorb than Perelman's completely atonal albums. Highly recommended.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson