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Matthew Shipp Trio: Elastic Aspects (2012)

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Matthew Shipp Trio: Elastic Aspects How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

When speaking of the development of the piano trio, talk inevitably turns to its different lineups, such a the evolution of Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
' trio before and after the Scott LaFaro
Scott LaFaro
Scott LaFaro
1936 - 1961
bass
, or the differing approaches of drummers Paul Motian
Paul Motian
Paul Motian
1931 - 2011
drums
and Joe LaBarbera
Joe LaBarbera
Joe LaBarbera
b.1948
drums
. For Matthew Shipp, his latest company signals a sort of turning point—perhaps even a milestone.

Shipp's trio, first heard on The Art Of The Improviser (Thirsty Ear, 2011) might be the most sympathetic subscribers to the Matthew Shipp sound" to date. Drummer and longtime collaborator Whit Dickey
Whit Dickey
Whit Dickey

drums
can be heard on Shipp's recordings from the early 1990s, including the treasured classics Circular Temple (Infinite Zero, 1992) and Critical Mass (213CD, 1995), and with the pianist in David S. Ware
David S. Ware
David S. Ware
1949 - 2012
sax, tenor
's bands. The wildcard here, however, is the addition of bassist Michael Bisio
Michael Bisio
Michael Bisio

bass, acoustic
. Bisio, has kept time for other uncompromising saxophonists including Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
b.1939
reeds
, Louie Belogenis, and Joe Giardullo
Joe Giardullo
Joe Giardullo

saxophone
.

Bisio's steady hand on Elastic Aspects opens the disc with a bowed commencement heard in tandem with Dickey's mallet play. The thirteen tracks that make up this elastic suite weave together a summing up of Shipp's musical curriculum vitae. He has defined a path for his music that can absorb instant composing, chamber music, hip hop, hard-bop, and energetic jazz. With Bisio, these seemingly disparate flavors mix nicely.

"Psychic Counterpoint" begins with a walking bass line countered by Shipp's (now) trademark stabbing repeated patterns, segueing into a piece of free music that references Shipp's patterns. The trio works the concept flawlessly, each track expanding the notion and occasionally contracting into solo and duo performances. "Raw Materials" finds Bisio and Shipp circling each other on a gracious chamber piece, while "Flowchart" manages bits of mayhem, matching Bisio's bowed energy against some inspired and fevered drumming. Bisio shines on "Rain Forest," a solo piece that flows into the bouncy "Stage 10," where Shipp works the insides of his piano like a DJ, while Bisio walks his bass over Dickey's brushwork.

With this new trio, Shipp's varying concepts coalesce into a meaningful and unabridged whole.

Track Listing: Alternative Aspects; Aspects; Psychic Counterpoint; Frame Focus; Flow Chart; Mute Voice; Explosive Aspects; Raw Materials; Rainforest; Stage 10; Dimension; Elastic Aspects; Elastic Eye.

Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; Michael Bisio: bass; Whit Dickey: drums.

Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings

Style: Modern Jazz


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