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Matthew Shipp: Equilibrium (2003)

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Matthew Shipp: Equilibrium No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Equilibrium represents the second collaboration between pianist Matthew Shipp and electronic expert FLAM, after last year's successful Nu Bop. The lineup is the same, except reed man Daniel Carter is replaced by vibraphonist Khan Jamal, who adds a sense of heightened continuity to the quartet's sound.

The opening number, “Equilibrium,” is a splendid example of the harmony achieved by the group. Shipp’s classical approach stirs up some unique dialog with Khan Jamal's vibes, while William Parker’s bass line holds everything together.

The next number, “Vamp to Vibe,” adds FLAM to the mix, recalling Herbie Hancock and Bobby Hutcherson and exploding sounds with a heavy bass line and back beat.

“Cohesion” is a number which ought to be featured on any jazz radio station that seeks to play "out" music without going to the limit. Just listening to William Parker is pure joy.

If you enjoyed Shipp's Nu Bop from last year, you're likely to groove to this new effort.

Track Listing: I. Equilibrium (3:44) II. Vamp To Vibe (5:28) III. Nebula Theory (5:25) IV. Cohesion (6:35) V. World Of Blue Glass (5:26) VI. Portal (1:13) VII. The Root (5:03) VIII. The Key (4:12) IX. Nu Matrix (4:01)

Personnel: Matthew Shipp, piano; William Parker, bass; Gerald Cleaver, drums; Khan Jamal, vibes; Flam, synths + programming

Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings

Style: Modern Jazz


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