Boasting a rich, full-bodied sound, this release finds tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman with drummer Rashid Ali and bassist William Parker on a set of ten originals. Perelman is a powerfully free spirit whose focused performances energize, propel, and invigorate. He is best when he hooks onto a melody and thrashes it, making it his own, or when he exults in the richness of his sound. Ali and Parker are good partners for Perelman, each knowing well the music of ecstasy. Ali, of course, backed John Coltrane in his later period, and Parker is at the forefront of the new avant-garde. Sad Life is dedicated to Perelman's father, though the music displayed on this disc is rarely sad. It expresses a range of emotions, but rarely lessens its intensity. Perelman may squawk through his mouthpiece on "Sad Life," or sport advanced techniques on "Life Forms," or even add a march-like gait on "Alagoana." Whatever Perelman blows is done with passion, and there is plenty of that throughout this CD.
AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy